April 20, 2009 12:00 PM


“There’ll never be another, never be another like me,” boasts Prince on MPLSoUND, one of two new albums he has released simultaneously. And who could argue with him? The dude has always marched to his own funky drummer, from the way he writes (in Prince’s world it’s “B” instead of “be”) to the ridiculously prolific way he puts out records.

MPLSoUND is the better of Prince’s new discs, with synth-infused jams that will have you partying like it’s 1983. Indeed, songs such as the eerily erotic “Chocolate Box” sound as if they could be outtakes from 1999 or Controversy. When he’s not working up a sweat, he’s firing up his falsetto on some buttery ballads (the best of which is “Better with Time”).

Prince turns on the guitar heroics for LOtUSFLOW3r (also the name of his new Web site), which finds the more indulgent artist branching into rock and, to a lesser extent, jazz. One of the highlights, though, is the James Brownesque “Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful.”

As if two of his own CDs weren’t enough, Prince also supports his latest protégée, Bria Valente, on Elixer, a set of lush midtempo grooves. But nothing will make you forget “Nasty Girl.”

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