Being a genius can be rough. You set a bar so high that nobody, yourself included, can hit it. Musicology isn't Prince redefining the musical world the way he did in the '80s, and for that reason alone this album hasn't received its full due. Give it a listen, though, and you'll hear every facet of Prince's genius, but kept just enough in check to deal a thundering blow to every lightweight newcomer. Dance workouts, slow jams, and political rants are tossed off with such easy swagger that half the neo-soul movement gets smacked down to irrelevance. The joy and life that Prince puts down (alone and with his band) come from real instruments in the hands of true players, something few R&B musicians can currently claim. All in all, Musicology has everything we miss from the great soul records of the '70s - including that air of confident ease that made their brilliance so easy to take for granted.

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