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MP Media

There’s certain songs I don’t play anymore.

Keeping in the same vein as his previous instrumental album, Xpectation, N.E.W.S. named after the four compass points and the tracks of the album, is a jazz-funk instrumental release which Prince recorded in a single day on 6 February 2003.

N.E.W.S. was released initially to members of the npgmusicclub.com on 30 June 2003, it received a commercial release on 29 July. In 2004 N.E.W.S. was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album, which Prince performed at the ceremony in what became an appearance which is credited to herald the revitalisation of his career. Fans, however, were unhappy with the direction Prince was taking his music, N.E.W.S. became his lowest selling album to date and thus he returned to more familiar form with Musicology the following year.


John Blackwell
Renato Neto
Bass Guitar
Rhonda Smith
Eric Leeds


NPG Records
MP Media
Cover Art/Photo
Jeremy Gavin
17 years, 0 months ago on 30 June 2003
Running Time
US Chart Peak
Not charted
UK Chart Peak
Not charted
Prince Album


  1. North (14:00)
  2. East (14:00)
  3. West (14:00)
  4. South (14:00)

Singles from N.E.W.S.

N.E.W.S. produced no singles.

N.E.W.S. – review

N.E.W.S. gives Prince his voice a rest and lets the music do all the talking. Four rambling tracks named North (funk), East (moody), West (confusion) and South (jazz) the music here is very different and is closer if anything to Holst’s The Planets. Yet N.E.W.S. has the hotel lobby vibe running throughout but what good can be said of the album? It has some moments North and East start off CD well but by West the listener’s finger is hovering precariously over S.T.O.P. and not Repeat. Although N.E.W.S. lacks the pace it does not sacrifice quality. The songs – let’s call them jams – are appreciated better if not played often (let’s face it repeat listening is unlikely). This is an album with two purposes: 1) to help the digestion of food during the dinner wind-down; 2) a collectable. N.E.W.S. appears to be the project which Prince was either using to round off his legacy and showcase his musical dexterity, or get his style over substance period out of his system in the wake of the duller Xpectation and marginally less irritating C-Note. The music is what you would expect from Prince, masterful, but with that he sacrificed his smart, albeit cleaned up, lyrical craft – and thank God come 2004 Prince stemmed his musical decline with Musicology.


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