Prince, Welcome 2 America

A posthumous release of a 2010 recording, this newly released gem from his estate is one of the better outings and certainly the best release so far since his unfortunate demise. The funk and R&B are solid but sufficiently updated for the modern taste, and while his self-production is a little stingy with the dynamics, its live jam feel is blessedly free of booth diddling; both he and his skillful backing mercs play like he never left this earth. Lyrically it's a mixed bag, some great uplifting semi-gospel ("1000 Years From Here," "One Day We Will All B Free") and thoughtful topicality (title track, "Born 2 Die") undermined by puerile manstrutting ("Check The Record," "When She Comes," snicker snicker nudge nudge), but the insta-singles are fun ("Hot Summer") and the slow moments burst with soul ("Stand Up And B Strong"), and his now almost nostalgic use of single character words means you won't have to spend a lot of time texting the track names 2 ur friends. (Content: adult themes.)