Various Artists

A Tribute to Prince: Party O' the Times

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Party of the Times: A Tribute to Prince mostly features '80s new wave and synth-pop acts who recorded (in 1999) versions of Prince tunes largely dating from the early and mid-'80s. Given that many of the best-known artists here -- Missing Persons, Gary Numan, Heaven 17, Dead or Alive, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Information Society -- were well past the prime of their careers when this material was recorded, most of it doesn't really capture the "party" flavor alluded to in the title. There are some intriguing ideas here -- Ice-T and Mellow Man Ace turn in rap versions of "Head" and "Irresistible Bitch," respectively, while Loleatta Holloway belts out "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and supermodel Rebecca Romijn-Stamos croons a surprisingly not bad "Darling Nikki" in a cool, detached tone reminiscent of many of the female voices on Prince's own recordings. But for the most part, the album is sunk by poor artist/material matchups and a general lack of energy.

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