Stevie. The Stones. Sir Paul. They're no longer geniuses, but they keep making music. Since 1995's The Gold Experience, Prince has been in the same boat. Once upon a time, he strutted around, strumming G-chords in a G-string, screaming about blowjobs and incest. But along came the shock and awe of hip-hop, something Prince could never match. As a result, he turned syrupy in the '90s with tunes like "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World." Planet Earth's "Future Baby Mama" comes in that model, an easy-listening ballad passé by anybody's standards, much less his. More successful is "Somewhere Here on Earth," a slow jam with muted trumpet up front while Prince rues the BlackBerry era: "In this digital age/You could just page me/I know it's the rage/But it just don't engage me." Until an '80s nostalgic like the Roots' ?uestlove becomes executive producer (assuming Prince will ever relinquish control), we're going to end up with mixed-to-middling records such as this one.
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