Hit N Run by Prince (Album Review)
“Party like its 1999” we all have moments in our life when we hit that sweet spot and the perfect night out occurs. Its a sense of celebration, of togetherness and collectively something big. Prince has repeatedly delivered tunes that deliver all of those emotions, not just in the symbolic 1999.
The ex- Prince, former symbol and now Prince again has had a number of incarnations. He has had many extras attached to him from 3rd Eyes to NPG, so much so the man is an enigma. He has so many urban myths surrounding him that even he must be wondering what is true and what isn’t.
Some how, through all of this smoke and mirrors, noise around him, critics and doubters, the diminutive, Prince stands tall, in a show of defiance or ability to embrace the circus, Prince delivers writing and composition that has seen him stay successful when genres of contemporaries have fallen by the way side.
His ability to span genres and ignore boundaries are just two of the attributes that make Prince a star. Recently, this talent hasn’t necessarily followed through with commercial success. So will Hit N Run fill that commercial void, or will it just be an earner from Prince’s army of loyal fans.
It is widely known, partly thanks to one time collaborator and film director Kevin Smith, that Prince has a huge archive of material at Paisley Park, just sat there waiting to be released. That’s why the neutrals often fear a new Prince release, worried that he could just be dusting off some of those old cuts that didn’t quite make previous projects.
But wipe that from your mind. Hit N Run, as much, pays homage to the roots that made Prince what he is, as it does chime with modern music. The point raised earlier about Prince spanning genres is ever apparent Hit N Run. Rather than just throwing stuff together and hoping for the best, it feels like Prince has been at his Paul Daniel’s Magic Set (kids ask your parents – its and 80s reference as per Prince’s roots) and created a perfect spell to create a musical antidote to the cookie cutter EDM of the moment.
Having said that, Prince does experiment with some awful modern day tools, particularly highlighted by his autotune performance on Shut This Down. But, as you would expect, he uses it to its benefit, as opposed to covering a lack of vocal ability as some current artists do.
This Could B Us creates a nod to current elecro-soul and you get a smack across the head with the spanking beats in Ain’t About To Stop. Both great highlights to a brilliant collection of music. This sets the tone of the album, citing modernity and a modern funky edge as mainstays. Guest appearance from a couple of Brit upstarts in the form of Rita Ora and Lianna Le Havas underlines the currency.
There are so many great tracks to choose from including X Face, 1000 and Xs & 0s. Some say Prince softened since becoming a Jehovah’s Witness and being unwilling to write about sexual or sensual themes. That stance seems to have softened, probably realising this is what gave him his edge and the connection with the audience.
This is probably Prince’s finest album since Lovesexy back in 1988 and its no coincidence that Hit N Run shares some of the same attributes. The finale of the album June, probably demonstrates that Prince was most comfortable back in that day. In the only really nostalgic track of the album he dreams of playing at Woodstock and a golden era of bygone days. That being said, it does feel current even if the topic is a little self-indulgent, but Hit N Run offers such a fine body of music we need to let Prince have that.
Nothing else needs to be said, apart from its a real shame that Prince’s best album for decades is only available on Tidal. I hope they rewarded hm handsomely because its a shame a huge number of his true fans can’t access it.