Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's nearly impossible to judge Lovesexy as anything but a hastily assembled substitute for the withdrawn Black Album, which does the record a disservice. An exactingly sequenced song cycle -- the compact disc didn't have index markings to separate the individual tracks -- Lovesexy is quite a different record than not only The Black Album, but anything else Prince had recorded. Where Dirty Mind was single-minded in its lust, Lovesexy connects the carnal with spiritual, and the calmness of the music reflects this outlook. Even when the record dips into hard funk, such as on the title track or the single "Alphabet Street," there's a relaxed, casual quality to the music that is shocking after the dense paranoia of Parade, Sign 'o' the Times, and The Black Album. Prince intends to enter a new phase of maturity with such considered music and ambitious lyrical themes, but neither his music nor his lyrics are consistently well stated over the course of the album. A handful of tracks are worthwhile -- the sappy ballad "When 2 R in Love," the moving "I Wish U Heaven," the weird psychedelia of "Anna Stesia" and "Glam Slam," as well as the wonderful "Alphabet Street" -- but Lovesexy is his weakest album since Controversy.