I listened to the new Prince album on Sunday driving back from Wales to London, having picked it up free - like so many others - as a cover mount with the Mail on Sunday.
There is something inherently funny about The Mail (known as the premier supplier of hot and cold running prejudice confirmation to the hangers and floggers of middle England) distributing the latest work of the author of Darling Nikki.
I've written of my regard for the purple funkmeister of Minneapolis before, and I've got my tickets for a show at the O2 in September, but even I have a blind spot. As soon as I hear a slow 6/8 groove I know that it is going to be one for the laydeez in the lyrical style of Smoove B and I reach instinctively for the button that will bring up the next track. Last year, on 3121 this moment didn't come until track 7, "Satisfied", and before that on Musicology we were spared until track 10, "On the Couch".
This time we have to take our punishment early on track 3 "Somewhere Here on Earth", which, in spite of some rather nice Miles Davis Harmon-muted trumpet stylings, must be cast into the outer darkness.
In a better ordered world this type of thing would be left to Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes.