[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Reviews: Prince's Planet Earth
Prince has already announced 21 concerts in London this summer
The first reviews of rock star Prince's latest album, which was given away free with a Sunday newspaper in the UK, have been fairly positive.

The star's decision not to charge for copies of Planet Earth was criticised by the record industry, although it is available both online and in shops in other countries.

Here are extracts from some of the UK's music critics:

THE GUARDIAN - Caroline Sullivan

It is not up to the standard of the albums produced during his 1980s high-water period - Purple Rain, 1999 and Sign 'O' the Times - but it is by no means terrible...

[However] had it not been for the hype, Planet Earth would have slipped out almost unnoticed, as many of his recent albums have done...

While Prince will never entirely be written off - his gigs are still considered the gold standard of live performance - his 46th album will mostly be remembered for the hype surrounding the means of release.

THE TIMES - Steve Jelbert

Prince smears bombastic lead guitar over several tracks, notably the crass eco-ballad of the title track (which unexpectedly resembles Barry Manilow's Could it Be Magic at one point).

Guitar borrows from U2's early fumblings, yet possesses a bouncy charm while the short, sweet All the Midnights in the World is as elegant as Stevie Wonder.

Less effective is the run-of-the-mill R'n'B of the interminable Future Baby Mama, surely testament that talking women of child-bearing age into bed takes Prince much longer these days...

Planet Earth is too good to be so lightly sold. And, ironically, many copies of Planet Earth will end up right there - in landfill.

MOJO MAGAZINE - Manish Agarwal

[The track Guitar is] the nominal first single (if he still had a record deal) and an undeniable blast.

This streamlined rocker cheekily takes its guitar line from U2's early anthem I Will Follow - seriously, The Edge could sue - while echoing the vocal melody of Prince's own Parade-era smash Girls and Boys, with a hint of Robert Palmer's yuppie favourite Addicted To Love...

While [the album] doesn't recapture the form of his 1980s imperial phase - only a fool would expect that - Planet Earth does at least show that Prince remembers what made him great in the first place.

Which surely bodes well for those 21 London shows...

MAIL ON SUNDAY - Bobby Friction

The Mail on Sunday, which gave away the CD, asked BBC Radio 1 DJ Bobby Friction to review each song.

[The track Planet Earth is] brilliant anthemic rock - and Prince is back on his guitar! The fans have been waiting for this for 20 years.

This is a real mix - it's got the funky bass, cheesy-in-a-good-way keyboards, and that screaming Purple Rain guitar.

[Resolution is] happy psychedelic pop - that hippy, 70s sound is big on this album. It shows you've got a bit of everything.

He's back to the top of his form in every field.

The album giveaway has not pleased everyone

Newspaper gives away Prince CDs
15 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Prince album 'should enter chart'
13 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Are free CDs killing music?
13 Jul 07 |  Magazine
Anger at Prince free CD giveaway
30 Jun 07 |  Entertainment
Prince to play 21 London concerts
08 May 07 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific