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Art Official Age

Warner Bros. Records

Prince’s genius remains intact.

Art Official Age marks Prince‘s first release with Warner Brothers since the breakdown of their relationship amid their much publicized despute of the mid 1990’s. It’s second single, coincidentally named The Breakdown, was released to coincide with the 18 April 2014 press announcement of Prince’s return to his former record label and of them to reissue re-mastered versions of his albums recorded under his previous tenure (1978 to 1996).

Art Official Age (a play on the word ‘artificial’) is also Prince’s first solo album since 2010, and was released the same day as 3rdEyeGirl’s Plectrumelectrum (Prince was working on Art Official Age during the 3rdEyeGirl project). In answer to why the passing of four years since the release of his previous solo project 20Ten, was that the creative process takes Prince longer nowadays. This album is, however, notable for his collaboration with Joshua Welton – that it is Prince’s first solo album which his shares the production credit. It therefore came as a surprise to fans that after this four year drought suddenly two albums were released on the same day. Following in the vein of the ‘golden ticket’ hidden in seven copies of the 3121 album, US fans who pre-ordered Art Official Age were entered into the Paisley Park Flyaway competition and the winner flown to Paisley Park Studios to hear Prince perform the album live on 18 October 2014. The sample used in the song U Know is taken from Mila J’s single Blinded.


All Instruments
Hannah Ford Funknroll
Donna Grantis Funknroll
Bass Guitar
Ida Nielsen Funknroll
Kathy Jensen
Kenni Holmen
Michael B. Nelson
Steve Strand
Dave Jensen


Prince and Joshua Welton
NPG Records
Warner Bros. Records
Cover Art
Maya Washington
30 September 2014
Running Time
US Chart Peak
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Prince Album


  1. Art Official Cage [feat. Ida Nielsen] (3:41)
  2. Clouds [feat. Lianne La Havas] (4:34)
  3. Breakdown (4:04) 1
  4. The Gold Standard (5:53)
  5. U Know (3:56)
  6. Breakfast Can Wait (3:55) 2
  7. This Could Be Us (5:12)
  8. What It Feels Like [duet with Andy Allo] (3:53)
  9. affirmation I & II [feat. Lianne La Havas] (0:40)
  10. Way Back Home [feat. Lianne La Havas] (3:05)
  11. Funknroll [Remix] (4:08) 3
  12. Time [feat. Andy Allo] (6:49)
  13. affirmation III [feat. Lianne La Havas] (3:27)

1 Originally The Breakdown when released as a single.
2 Released as a single
3 Remix by Joshua Welton of the studio version from Plectrumelectrum.

Singles from Art Official Age

Breakfast Can Wait single from Art Official Age

Breakfast Can Wait

NPG Records

3 September 2013
US Chart Peak
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  1. Breakfast Can Wait (3:55)
The Breakdown single from Art Official Age

The Breakdown

Warner Bros. Records

18 April 2014
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  1. The Breakdown (4:04)

Art Official Age – review

On first sight the inclusion on the track listing of Breakdown and 2013’s Breakfast Can Wait did little to allay trepidation that come the release of Art Official Age would be the usual fare fans had heard before and not anything exceptional. But when listening to early releases of Clouds and U Know all fears were not only dispelled but swept aside with the return of something long missed in Prince circles – that sheer joy of getting fingers onto a brand new Prince album – his first in what was a tortuously four-year wait. The fact, unlike Plectrumelectrum, that Art Official Age came completely under the radar fan focus shifted to this, his solo album. Art Official Age recalls a personal excitement not felt since that first spin of The Gold Experience back in 1995 – with that production and freshness which was felt immediately and held throughout. The opener Art Official Cage is 2014’s rekindling of Endorphinmachine and starts off the album with a burst of energy that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The listener is to behold a musical odyssey over and above Prince’s discography of his post 1995 career. It is this production that reveals to fan the album’s intent, Prince’s desire to reach a younger audience. Yet it’s the more ardent fan who would appreciate this most. Art Official Age benefits from considerable depth and is further enhanced by its freshness, which was totally unexpected from Prince considering where 20Ten left off. Prince is reborn (ref: the heartfelt Way Back Home). Issuing two albums together will invariably see comparisons drawn between the two, notably the battle of the Funknrolls (although Plectrumelectrum‘s version wins; it sits a little uncomfortably on Art Official Age) but in quality all tracks are neck and neck. The album kicks off with Art Official Cage, sweeping and shape-shifting it sets the perfect high-octane tone for what follows, that which draws just as much on the past than the future and all to sublime effect. The Gold Standard recalls Bob George. This Could Be Us evokes the haunting The Beautiful Ones. Time joins parity with If I Was Your Girlfriend and Shy. Art Official Age is a pounding soundtrack and a pleasurable listen, the highlights come with the sweeping affirmation III and the outstanding Time and the fragile Way Back Home. This scope and freshness, let’s reiterate that point, marks an almost musical rebirth. We should pray that another four years won’t need to pass for its follow up. Art Official Age is, if ironically, Prince’s best release since his last outing with Warner Brothers (having now put their differences behind them) and music industry influence. This therefore answers the speculation that Prince picked up his game for Warner Brothers and considerably so. Art Official Age marks a remarkable return to his world beating form of the 1980s.

Art Official Age

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