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
âBlack Sweat,â 3121, 2006
A knee-jerk reaction to this clattering, humid slab of minimalist electro-funk is to say itâs 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 itâs not a rip-off but a reclamation.
âThe One U Wanna C,â Planet Earth, 2007
As Princely come-ons go, this one is pretty tame, but it fits the songâs radiantly buoyant bounce. And sometimes, itâs nice to see a legendary horn-dog dial things back a bit.
âFuture Soul Song,â 20Ten, 2010
Lately, Princeâs ballads have tended toward the schmaltzy, but this plush slow-burner harks back to âPurple Rain,â when the guy could break your heart while simultaneously singeing your eyebrows.
âRock and Roll Love Affair Remix,â download only, 2013
Maybe this five-minute hard-funk workout isnât much more than a pulsing groove and guitar pyrotechnics, but considering the source materialâa dull 2012 singleâand Princeâs 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.