Records: New releases

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Prince: Come (Warner, CD/LP). His name is Prince. Well, it was Prince, and this album is apparently the last thing he recorded before changing his sobriquet. He gave up writing melodies a while ago: most of the tracks here are James Brown funks and disco grooves, heavy on the brass and synth. The subject matter is what you'd expect. On the 11-minute title track he promises that he can do plenty more with his tongue than sing a song and 'Orgasm' has an unnamed female vocalist doing an impression of Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. As with Madonna's Erotica, too many one-track-minded tracks can result in a blush of embarrassment rather than of titillation. But Come is saved by some outstanding material: 'Solo', with its operatic vocals and harp accompaniment; 'Race', a pro-integration rap; 'Papa', a creeping tale of child abuse; and the single, 'Letitgo', which is better than 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World'. I can't say that Prince has saved his best album until last, but he has gone out with a bang, not a whimper. Nicholas Barber

Orbital: Snivilisation (Internal, CD/LP/tape). The third album by Kentish soul brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll springs a double surprise. Not only does it have a title, it also has a concept. Whether it really presents 'a wry panoramic overview of the absurdities of the present global order', listeners will have to decide for themselves, but Orbital have certainly expanded their sound. If the quiet electronic beauty of 'Science Friction' is still what they do best, they also move forward into robo-punk ('Quality Seconds'), jungle (one of many surprises in the 15 minutes of 'Are We Here?') and even systems music ('Kein Trink Wasser'). There is the odd dull moment and only time will tell if this record can set up camp in the subconscious with the happy permanence of Orbital's second album. My guess would be yes. Ben Thompson

THE IoS PLAYLIST

THE FIVE BEST DISCS OF THE MOMENT

Neil Young and Crazy Horse: Sleeps with Angels (Warner, CD/LP/tape). Just when you think you've heard him at his best, he gets better. Archetypal Young, but full of surprises. NB

Ravel: Complete Piano Works. Philippe Entremont (Sony, two CDs). Idiomatic recordings reissued at a low price on the Essential Classics label. Michael White

Marvin Gaye: In Our Lifetime (Motown, CD/tape). Gaye's favourite theme - the struggle between sacred and profane love - examined in an often magnificent blend of stripped funk and stoned swirl. Richard Williams

The Prodigy: Music for the Jilted Generation (XL, CD/LP/tape). High-street pop nosebleed attack] BT

Jesus & Mary Chain: Sometimes Always (Warner, single). Slushy by their standards, sleazy by anyone else's. NB

Comments