A few weeks after removing all his music from Spotify, the always unpredictable Prince has delivered his new track “Stare” exclusively (so far) to the service.
Chris Gerard: A few weeks after removing all his music from Spotify, the always unpredictable Prince has delivered his new track “Stare” exclusively (so far) to the service. Whether “Stare” will be included on his upcoming new release The Hit & Run Album is unknown. What is known is that “Stare” is the type of blazing funk that can only come from Prince. It’s not really too far removed from what he’s done in the past – it’s a bit of a mix between “Sticky Like Glue", “Musicology” and “Sexy Dancer", with a nifty sample of his classic “Kiss” thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t break any new stylistic ground, but that hardly matters. The groove is smokin’ hot, with sizzling horn riffs and a bassline capable of inducing brain melt. “Stare” continues the hot streak the mercurial genius has enjoyed since the beginning of 2014 with the release of multiple standalone internet singles, and his outstanding pair of LPs Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum. [8/10]
Matt James: “Sister freak me!” “Stare” is everything a Prince song should be. A four-minute jam that's slightly filthy, hysterical, strange (halftime fade?!?) and riding a relentless groove cut for shakin' what yo momma gave you. It's the Purple One stripped down to the bare essentials -- Seinfeld slap bass, a tight funky drummer skat shuffle, tower o' power horns and lots of lascivious panting. Pop's own Dorian Gray, Prince remains so darn ice cool when he pauses midway for a kiss it's one from himself. Yes, literally. He puckers up with the riff from “Kiss”. O Prince, you scamp! The axe swingin' “HARDROCKLOVER” is arguably the pick o' the twin peeks from the incoming Hit & Run (for the “Super hardcore” apparently) but “Stare” is finger clickin' good. P.S. So Prince how are those promised Eighties' reissues coming along? [Ducks] [7/10]
Jonathan Frahm: Talk about an oxymoron; didn’t Prince call out Spotify as Satan just last month, and now we have a Spotify-exclusive premiere for his latest song? Ah well, who cares. One might say that this one’s possibly the most dirty minded Prince has done up any of his tracks in a long time, forgoing the more experimental sounds of his latest ideals to head back to something more along the lines of traditional funk. Whoever calls themselves a music lover that doesn’t fall in love with that bassline and horn section isn’t a human being. The entire point of the song from a lyrical perspective seems rather vapid, but on stage, I’m sure it won’t necessarily matter. [6/10]
Paul Duffus: Surely it’s a bad move to reference a classic, much loved track from your past in a much weaker track, one destined to remain mostly unloved, in your present? It’s only ever going to provoke unkind comparisons, but that’s what Prince does here by including a little snippet of “Kiss” in the middle of this relatively prosaic funk workout, prosaic that is of course, relative to his own superlative back catalogue, which he has just reminded us about. Prince’s greatness is unquestioned, but “Stare” is a long way from his best. [6/10]
Steve Horowitz: Wow! Prince has always known how to funk it up, but he's raised the roof even higher here. The sound is tight from the opening pulse of the bass to the horny horns at the end and everywhere in between. You know what he's feeling. Prince doesn't hide from his libido, but he puts it out there loud and proud. The music irresistibly invites the listener to get it on. -- [9/10]
Casey Hardmeyer: Looks like Prince is on one of his rolls again, firing off albums and singles like it’s a certain year in the latter half of the 1990s. I was really hoping that we’d get more of the Prince we saw on last year’s Art Official Age, rather than the one we saw on PlectrumElectrum (an album I’m pretty sure nobody except Prince actually enjoyed), but it looks as if my wish didn’t quite come true. Still, I’m definitely digging this more than Plectrum, there’s less frivolous guitar solos and more funk purity, in fact it’s probably the most vintage funk track he’s recorded since the Black Album. And even though I’m not sure how a classic, James Brown-esque funk tune fits in with today’s music landscape (i.e., it doesn’t) one must remember that it is Prince, and for every Lovesexy, there’s always gonna be that Graffiti Bridge just around the corner. [6/10]