N·E·W·S (Prince album)

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Lowercase letters N, E, W, S appear in grayish white the middle of the cover over a satellite image of part of the earth partially obscured by swirly clouds, with Prince's name beneath in all caps
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 30, 2003
RecordedFebruary 6, 2003
StudioPaisley Park
Prince chronology
Alternative cover
The foldout "ninja star" opposite side of the artwork.

N·E·W·S is the twenty-seventh studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on June 30, 2003, by NPG Records. The album is the second instrumental album released under Prince's own name, containing four tracks of 14 minutes duration each.[1] Recorded at Prince's Paisley Park Studios over a single day, the album was initially available through Prince's NPG Music Club website on June 30, 2003, before becoming widely commercially available on July 29. The album can be seen as a modern incarnation of Madhouse, but this time as a Prince release. Original Madhouse member Eric Leeds lends his talents, as well as The New Power Generation members John Blackwell, Rhonda Smith and Renato Neto.[2] The album was recorded improvisationally.[3]

The album is the lowest-selling Prince album released to date,[2] with just 30,000 copies sold,[4] but it did become a top-ten hit on the Billboard Internet sales chart, and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.[5] The album artwork folded out into a ninja star. Produced by Prince, the album is credited as "Directed By Prince".

The track "West" was included on the 2018 compilation Anthology: 1995–2010.[6]

Style and composition[edit]

The album is an all-instrumental album featuring styles of New Age,[1] jazz-funk,[7][1] and jazz fusion.[8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
City Pages[11]
The Guardian[7]
Jazz Times(favorable)[9]
Wilson & Alroy[10]

The album received mostly negative reviews from critics, with several critics noting the album's lack of cohesion.

In a 2 out of 5 star review, Allmusic reviewer William Ruhlman criticized the album as directionless, stating "The listener, who will have to be a particularly rabid aficionado of all things Prince to be interested, must throw out all expectations and simply revel in the joy of hearing the musician and his cohorts experiment with relaxed musical textures for 56 minutes. Of course, no one else needs to bother."[1] In a positive review for Jazz Times Lucy Tauss summarized "exploratory and evocative, N.E.W.S. is an intriguing departure for this enigmatic and unpredictable artist."[9]

The Guardian ranked the album last out of Prince's 37 studio albums.[7] Stereogum ranked it 20th out of 30 main Prince albums released by 2014, stating "there's no pretending that this isn't for the diehards primarily, or that it's even a coherent collection, but it's great to see a man with so many ideas let some new ones loose."[12] Metro Weekly ranked the album 2nd to last of all Prince albums in a 2014 feature, calling it "a 56-minute exercise in tedium".[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Prince

N·E·W·S track listing
Total length:56:00



  • Prince – electric guitar, Fender Rhodes, digital keyboards and percussion, production, mixing, art design
  • Eric Leeds – tenor and baritone saxophone
  • John Blackwell – drums
  • Renato Neto – piano and synthesizers
  • Rhonda Smith – electric and acoustic bass


  • Jeremy Gavin – art design


  • Jess Sutcliffe – engineer
  • Joseph Lepinski – musical technician
  • Takumi – musical technician


Chart performance for N·E·W·S
Chart (2003) Peak
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[15] 83
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[16] 93
US Top Internet Albums (Billboard)[17] 8


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Allmusic Review".
  2. ^ a b Draper, Jason (November 1, 2016). Prince: Life and Times: Revised and Updated Edition. Chartwell Books. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-0-7603-5363-9.
  3. ^ Griffin, Woodworth (Fall 2013). "Prince, Miles, and Maceo: Horns, Masculinity, and the Anxiety of Influence". Black Music Research Journal. 33 (2): 117–150. doi:10.5406/blacmusiresej.33.2.0117. JSTOR 10.5406/blacmusiresej.33.2.0117. S2CID 191456792.
  4. ^ cbs local
  5. ^ "Complete list of 46th annual Grammy winners and nominees". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on February 22, 2023.
  6. ^ "Review: Prince's 'Anthology: 1995 - 2010' Shows Years of Genius Hiding in Plain Sight". Rolling Stone. August 21, 2018. Archived from the original on June 9, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked" – via www.theguardian.com.
  8. ^ Walmsley, Craig (August 24, 2017). "The Top 10 Prince Albums You've Never Heard Of". Medium.
  9. ^ a b Tauss, Lucy (November 2003). "Prince: N·E·W·S". Jazz Times. ISSN 0272-572X. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  10. ^ "Prince". www.warr.org.
  11. ^ Harris, Keith. "Prince: A complete album guide". City Pages.
  12. ^ "N.E.W.S. (2003) Stereogum".
  13. ^ metroweekly
  14. ^ visual history of prince
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Prince – N.E.W.S." (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Prince – N.E.W.S." (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "Billboard Magazine August 2003". Billboard. August 9, 2003.