"Bonus Track #77"

Having declared the Internet "over," Prince is releasing his new disc by giving it away in copies of European newspapers and magazines, such as Rolling Stone's German edition and Belgium's enticingly named Het Nieuws­blad. Sadly, 20Ten is all blad and no nieuws, wanly recapitulating Purple Rain's funk-rock sound while replacing its great theme (fucking) with windy lyrics about universal wisdom. Fitting the offbeat marketing plan, the best song is a hidden track, "Laydown," a hypnotic grind with big, scratchy riffs and a sing-rap cadence weirdly reminiscent of Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On." It's Prince at his most playful, inviting us to his righteous planet with abstruse poetry: "From the heart of Minnesota/Here come the Purple Yoda." (Shouldn't that be "The Purple Yoda, from the heart of Minnesota here come"?) It's a welcome break from all the heavy thinking, and it's full of something too many recent Prince songs have lacked: fun.