Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. During the '80s, he emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock. Not only did he release a series of groundbreaking albums; he toured frequently, produced albums and wrote songs for many other artists, and recorded hundreds of songs that still lie unreleased in his vaults. With each album he released, Prince has shown remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures, and genres.
Arto Lindsay has come a long way since his early days as one of the prime architects of downtown New York's no wave sound, a period when he played untuned guitar in the noise trio DNA and served as the first vocalist for the Golden Palominos. Since then he's been a fairly ubiquitous guest artist and has pursued his own interest in the music of Brazil (where he was raised), as well as taking a detour into slightly avant-garde dance-pop with the group Ambitious Lovers. His solo work in recent years has gotten a bit mushy, perhaps, but Prize finds him tightening things up. The drum'n'bass textures that lay on the surface of his last album like laminate are more fully integrated this time out: "Prefeelings" combines a fractured breakbeat with salsa-fied acoustic guitar and saxophones; "Resemblances" smears subtle intimations of electronic mayhem under Latin percussion and guitar, while Lindsay sings lines like "Stay calm/Keep calm/Let the room outgrow the walls" in a dry, laconic voice. None of this is anywhere near as tuneful as his work with Ambitious Lovers, but there's a maturity to it that will keep you coming back for more.