The Artist – Un2 The Joy Fantastic

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Album Review by EDF

Here is one guy who is just not happy releasing just one album a year. This time round he is signed to Arista and seems to be already arguing with them regarding the promotion or lack of, in this case, of this album.

CRYSTAL BALL, which was a collection of previously unreleased tracks served up a reminder of why the little guy has a huge amount of talent. There seems to be an element of excitement and originality missing from his albums from the past 10 years and unfortunately this album is more of the same.

What is also worrying is that although this is An Artist…. album, this was produced by Prince. Confused? You will be. The title track was all done by Prince’s hand, just like the old days. The rest of the album is, for at least half of it, a yawn. MANOWAR, HOT WIT U and a cover of SHERYL CROW’s ‘Everyday Is A Winding Road’ are just dull and pointless. TANGERINE, STRANGE BUT TRUE and I LOVE U, BUT I DON’T TRUST U ANYMORE could easily fit into Prince’s back catalogue. Where this album shines are tracks like THE SUN, THE MOON AND STARS and THE GREATEST ROMANCE EVER SOLD. His collaborations with Gwen Stefani from No Doubt, Sheryl Crow and Ani DiFranco are also worth a listen.

Surprising and personally the best track is a “hidden track”, not mentioned on the jewel case but listed on the booklet, go figure that one out, called PRETTYMAN. This is the funkiest song he’s recorded in ages but unfortunately does not save this album from becoming another half effort. Just as well TAFKAP has now changed his name back to Prince. All we need now is a quality release from him. Here’s hoping.

3 stars