The announcement of the arrival of unreleased Prince always makes you smile. There is so much to discover that The Vault (the archives of the star who passed away in April 2016) is a bottomless pit. It is well known that Rogers Nelson recorded all his sessions in his Paisley Park den, as well as all his live performances. Whilst sorting through this treasure trove of music, the essential Welcome 2 America is reuniting eleven original tracks, and a cover of the band Soul Asylum (Stand Up and B Strong), mastered to perfection.
These 2010 recordings were actually originally arranged by Prince, who decided to postpone their release to focus on his 'Welcome 2' tour that traveled through the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia from December 2010 to September 2012...
The Minneapolis master, who plays all the instruments here, is surrounded by loyalists Chris Coleman on drums, Tal Wilkenfeld on bass, Morris Hayes on keyboards and percussion and Shelby J., Elisa Dease and Liv Warfield on backing vocals. Pointing out the absurdity of social networks as well as the need to help each other, the tone of his pen had not been so engaged since Sign o' the Times. This brings to mind "conscious" musicians like his idol Curtis Mayfield whom Prince seems to celebrate throughout the very seventies Born 2 Die.
A certain purity is also at the heart of these ultra-funky compositions. Stripped of overproduction or endless solos, the songs on Welcome 2 America gain in effectiveness. Prince has rarely been the guru of less is more and yet he focuses here on the essential like on the ballad Running Game (Son Of A Slave Master). During the 2000s he sometimes got lost in lengthy jazz fusion jam sessions. Here, he finds with this album the writing of his golden age. So much so that Welcome 2 America is one of the most exciting albums of the last twenty years of his life.