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NPG Records

“New Directions In Music From Prince”

You must surrender your expectation.

Xpectation is an instrumental album recorded in the Autumn of 2001 at Paisley Park studios, which was originally intended to be named as and include the track Xenophobia. Xpectation was released in 2003 as a collection of MP3s downloaded via npgmusicclub.com as a New Year’s Day gift to Prince’s membership, and so was never commercially available.

Xenophobia was removed since it had already appeared in live form on One Nite Alone… Live! as it was also performed frequently during the One Nite Alone… Tour. As the subtitle suggests, in Xpectation Prince explores a new avenue of music as well as features contributions from the violinist Vanessa Mae. This direction, it’s total inaccessibility, is considered by many fans the lowest point of Prince‘s output, who yearned for his return to more commercial music.

Cover story

Because the album was digitally distributed, its cover art was made available to download and print. Prince’s brief to Sam Jenning’s the designer, was “Make it look like jazz”, so the concept was to combine words with images.


John Blackwell
Bass Guitar
Rhonda Smith
Candy Dulpher
Vanessa Mae


NPG Records
NPG Records
Sam Jennings
18 years, 2 months ago on 1 January 2003
Running Time
US Chart Peak
UK Chart Peak
Prince Album
Orig. Format


  1. Xhalation (2:02)
  2. Xcogtigate (3:33)
  3. Xemplify (5:52)
  4. Xpectation (4:00)
  5. Xotica (3:04)
  6. Xogenous (4:11)
  7. Xpand (6:10)
  8. Xosphere (3:33)
  9. Xpedition (8:23)

Singles from Xpectation

Xpectation produced no singles.

Xpectation – review

For the first time as a fan I felt Prince embark on a musical trajectory I had no wish to accompany him on. Having felt him moving too far down the independent, self-indulgent, path of artistry, Prince was not only isolating himself but his fans, with completely inaccessible and even undesirable music. Even Prince could not be convinced to put this music on CD. The 9-MP3s that make up Xpectation forms of (and making up) nine words that begin with ‘X’. Indeed it was never worthy for CD, only put out in digital format from his NPG Music Club website. Prince proves his musical fallibility after all and Xpectation is unfortunately exhibit A. Its one saving grace Xenophobia was removed from the album as it had been released as a live version on One Nite Alone… Live!. The release turned to the ridiculous after the sublime The Rainbow Children. As it later turned out Prince got the taste for experimental music out of his system within a couple of years but all what it achieved was a collection more worthy as after dinner ambiance than a showcase of Prince’s vast talent. Is this the same guy who wrote Darling Nikki? Needless to say it would be wrong to suggest this music is uninspired yet it provides too few footholds to inspire the listener. This is an album to buy to own, not to buy to love. His releases in 2003 are strangers in Prince’s musical canon, marking his ‘skip-able’ year. Every artist has one.


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