“Cinnamon Girl,”

, 2004

Only Prince has the balls to steal the title of one of Neil Young's signature songs. Other than the name, the standout track from his "comeback" album has little in common with Young's classic, forgoing bouldering crunch for a welcome throwback to the paisley pop of

Around the World in a Day


“Black Sweat,” 3121, 2006
A knee-jerk reaction to this clattering, humid slab of minimalist electro-funk is to say it’s Prince grasping at relevancy by mimicking the Neptunes. Once you consider how much Pharrell Williams and company took from the Minneapolis sound he created, though, you realize it’s not a rip-off but a reclamation. 

“The One U Wanna C,” Planet Earth, 2007
As Princely come-ons go, this one is pretty tame, but it fits the song’s radiantly buoyant bounce. And sometimes, it’s nice to see a legendary horn-dog dial things back a bit.

“Future Soul Song,” 20Ten, 2010
Lately, Prince’s ballads have tended toward the schmaltzy, but this plush slow-burner harks back to “Purple Rain,” when the guy could break your heart while simultaneously singeing your eyebrows.

Future Soul Song by Prince on Grooveshark

“Rock and Roll Love Affair Remix,” download only, 2013
Maybe this five-minute hard-funk workout isn’t much more than a pulsing groove and guitar pyrotechnics, but considering the source material—a dull 2012 single—and Prince’s recent work with a stripped-down backing band, the fact that His Royal Purpleness is getting nostalgic for his leaner, meaner youth is mighty encouraging.

SEE IT: Prince plays Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., on Sunday, April 21. Sold out.