Although not a “Prince” album per se, Newpower Soul released in 1998 amongst multiple other Prince releases was actually the third album from the band “New Power Generation”. But unlike the first two albums, this is most definitely a purely Prince release and that is why I am reviewing it on this website. For me, this is part of Prince’s album repertoire and cannot be missed for review. Just to be clear, I will NOT be reviewing “Exodus 1995” and “Goldnigga 1993”, both of which I DO NOT see as Prince records, although I must state that Exodus is an excellent record, while Goldnigga contains the big hit “The Good Life” which is worth hearing again from time to time!
Like many of his late 80’s output, this record went a bit under the radar, but feels like a soulmate to other low profile, minimalist Prince CD’s, such as “Come” and even the dark “Batman” and post punk “Dirty Mind”. In fact, Newpower Soul is a really really good record!
The first song is the jazzy and funky “Newpower Soul”, reminiscent of “Come”. The only single “Come On” is brilliant, catchy stuff. Pure funk. Then following that is the eerie “Mad Sex” which I quite like. Followed by one of Prince’s most commercial ever songs, “When you love somebody”. In another dimension, another year, another singer – this song would be a smash hit around the world, but it went unnoticed really.. “The One” is a spectacular ballad, one of Prince’s best. Whereas “Until your in my arms tonight” is not as good, but still quite nice. “Freaks on this side” and “I like funky music” are not that great, they are almost experimental funk songs in a way, but don’t really work.
The album ends with a surprise “bonus” track called “Wasted Kisses”, which co-incidentally is one of Prince’s best ever pop songs. Maybe he just didn’t realise it and / or never completed the song, but it really is a fan favourite and could have been number 1 in another time, space and dimension.
All in all, Newpower Soul is an unexpected Prince masterpiece, a record I keep going back to time and time again, ageless.
4 out of 5