If you’ve grown weary of wearing your raspberry beret and are looking for some new sounds to blast in the speakers of your little red corvette, then allow me to introduce you to Prince’s Welcome 2 America!
According to Rolling Stone, Welcome 2 America is the first full length album to be released posthumously from the Purple One himself, nearly 11 years after it was first recorded. Filled with “unheard” music straight out the vault, the 12-track album is an ode to all things soul, funk, and filled to the brim with the type of social commentary only Prince could deliver.
“It vibrates differently,” singer Shelby J said in an interview. “There’s some music that you hear and some music that you feel. Prince makes music you feel. When you do that analog, there’s seasoning and soul in that tape.” J regularly lent her voice as background for Prince when he was alive and does so on the forthcoming album. She continued:
“I think it’s perfect, especially coming out of COVID. People are coming out of this last year understanding what’s important. Prince would always say, ‘We gotta take care of each other.’ I think it’s right on time.”
Right on time seems like a fitting descriptor for Prince’s music overall, his message always seeming to resonate with the state of society and the world at large at any given moment. But per bassist Tal Wilkenfield, at the time of the recording, most of them had barely a clue what was going on—let alone how the album was going to come together in the first place.
“Things moved really quickly. We did a few days of jamming in the main rehearsal area. The next time we showed up, we were recording an album. Prince wasn’t singing when we were tracking. He wouldn’t even tell us the structure of the song or what was coming next. All he would say was, ‘OK, I’m going to go from this chord to that chord, and then I might go with this chord, but I’ll look at you and you’ll know.’ We didn’t have any idea what the song was about or anything. He would just count it off and, ‘Roll tape!’”
Despite its arguably disorganized beginnings, I have no doubt this album is sure to please Prince’s loyal fans and followers.
Welcome 2 America is available to preorder now on the official Prince website with availability to stream beginning July 30.