The artist declares this is an “experimental” album, when really it’s just a manic mess.
As a Prince devotee, I hold the diminutive artist up to colossal standards. While never losing respect for his creativity or willingness to take risks and push boundaries with each new album, I also recognize when his efforts aren’t on the mark. Such is the case with HITnRUN Phase One.
...off of Prince's latest, HITnRUN Phase One (lyric video)
As the title suggests, HITnRUN is scattershot. The 11-track album opens with “Million $ Show,” a duet with The Voice alum and protégé-of-the-moment Judith Hill, that winds you up with snippets from past hits “1999” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” The song is a mishmash of musical styles, which might serve to explain the artist’s declaration that this is an “experimental” album, when really it’s just a manic mess. Most of the rest follows suit. While you might stumble across a sweet vocal (“This Could B Us”) or incendiary guitar jam (“Hardrocklover”), HITnRUN only offers flashes of Prince’s ability.
The best of the batch is “Fallinlove2nite,” a synth-and-horns-fueled retro dance track that the Purple Wonder debuted last year during his surprising guest appearance on the Zooey Deschanel sitcom New Girl. Other notable songs include club thumper “Shut This Down,” which closes with a sick bass line, and “1000 X’s & O’s,” a love song set to a slinky groove that Prince mined from his storied vault.
All in all, Phase One might have been better titled HITSnMISSES. Here’s hoping Phase Two brings our funky hero back to form.
Album: HITnRUN Phase One
Label: NPG Records
Songs: (1) Million $ Show (2) Shut This Down (3) Ain’t About 2 Stop (4) Like A Mack (5) This Could B Us (6) Fallinlove2nite (7) X’s Face (8) Hardrocklover (9) Mr. Nelson (10) 1000 X’s & O’s (11) June