Way back in February, Prince gave us a taste of 'FUNKNROLL' when he premiered the track during his takeover of the now-defunct Arsenio Hall Show. Fast forward seven months later, and he's giving us another dose of the song. Except this version sounds considerably different than the take that was offered up on Arsenio's stage.
For one, the live version, which was backed by his current band 3RDEYEGIRL, had a much more rock-defined edge to it. This studio version seems to be more informed by hip hop, with a spare groove that bounces and bumps along quite nicely. Secondly, His Royal Purpleness manipulates his vocal to the point that it strikes a pleasing balance between rapping and singing during the verses that works quite well. The rock sound does make an appearance once the song hits the three-minute mark, though, with electric guitars blaring and the tempo speeding to a breakneck pace to close out the jammin' joint.
While Prince's performance of the track on Arsenio was without a doubt entertaining, we must say that this studio version is just a bit more interesting. It's enough to make you wonder what other surprises will be in store for us when his Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL's albums ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM arrive in stores on September 30th.