10 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

You know you're dealing with a major talent when even a collection of unused odds and ends can sound as captivating and coherent as any of that artist's proper releases. Such is the case with The Vault, a collection of previously unreleased cuts pulled together by Warner Bros. after Prince left the label in the mid-'90s. The stylistic consistency of the tunes is all the more striking when you realize they span almost a decade; while they run the gamut from slow-rolling romantic ballads to breathlessly fervid funky workouts, they almost all use a distinctly jazzy brand of R&B full of deceptively effortless-seeming swing and a loose, bluesy vibe. While Prince handles much of the instrumentation himself, as per usual, his horn section is a crucial component of the sound here, perfectly punctuating his every move, from the greasy, swaggering strides of "It's About That Walk" to the bebop breakdown on "She Spoke 2 Me" and the modernized Memphis soul burn of "5 Women." Most of all, Prince sounds like he's having a hell of a lot of fun throughout the album.

EDITORS’ NOTES

You know you're dealing with a major talent when even a collection of unused odds and ends can sound as captivating and coherent as any of that artist's proper releases. Such is the case with The Vault, a collection of previously unreleased cuts pulled together by Warner Bros. after Prince left the label in the mid-'90s. The stylistic consistency of the tunes is all the more striking when you realize they span almost a decade; while they run the gamut from slow-rolling romantic ballads to breathlessly fervid funky workouts, they almost all use a distinctly jazzy brand of R&B full of deceptively effortless-seeming swing and a loose, bluesy vibe. While Prince handles much of the instrumentation himself, as per usual, his horn section is a crucial component of the sound here, perfectly punctuating his every move, from the greasy, swaggering strides of "It's About That Walk" to the bebop breakdown on "She Spoke 2 Me" and the modernized Memphis soul burn of "5 Women." Most of all, Prince sounds like he's having a hell of a lot of fun throughout the album.

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