Releasing two multi-disc sets may have been an audacious way to begin his career as an independent artist, but it did nothing to reestablish Prince
as a commercial powerhouse. Perhaps that's the reason he released New Power Soul
(credited to his backing band, New Power Generation
, but it's a Prince
album in all but name) a mere four months after his mammoth quadruple-disc Crystal Ball
hit the stores -- it was time to release a concise, focused pop-funk record that proved he could still deliver. And it does, to a certain extent. New Power Soul
is a tight, focused record, filled with energetic funk workouts and classy, seductive ballads. It's paced to entertain, just like one of his legendary concerts, and there's no shortage of well-crafted songs, although it cements Prince
's evolution from groundbreaker to craftsman.