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First reviews for new Prince albums: Positive to mixed

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Some critics clearly love the two new albums from Minnesota music legend Prince, and others ... not so much.

Prince's record "Art Official Age," and his band 3rdEyeGirl's disc "Plectrum Electrum," were both released Tuesday, marking the Purple One's first album releases since "20Ten" in 2010.

As of Tuesday morning, entertainment review aggregator Metacritic says "Art Official Age" has an average critic rating of 74 out of 100, based on seven reviews; while "Plectrum Electrum" sports an average score of 67 out of 100, also based on seven reviews.

Prince will be celebrating the albums Tuesday night with a release party at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, which Yahoo! will be streaming live starting at 9:30 p.m. CST. In addition, Prince joined Facebook Tuesday, and is offering a Q&A session on the page at 2 p.m. CST. You can submit questions here.

The critics' reviews

The Los Angeles Times finds the most inspiration in "Art Official Age," scoring 100 on the Metacritic scale, while giving "PlectrumElectrum" a 50.

"Though the rock record ('PlectrumElectrum') has its moments and is ferociously played, its songs are relatively flat. If you're looking for a freaky good time, 'Art Official' is your ticket," the Times says.

High on both albums are the Chicago Tribune and The Telegraph in the U.K.

In its review of "PlectrumElectrum," The Telegraph says the album makes "a bold connection with a time when Jimi Hendrix was the last great black American rock star, before funk really left rock 'n' roll to the white man."

The New York Daily News also favors "PlectrumElectrum," but was less impressed with "Art Official Age."

"The 3rdEyeGirl album has a much cleaner sound, and a sharper focus, than Prince’s solo album. He’s obviously engaged by the chance to mix it up with such forceful players," the News says.

The Guardian of the U.K. wasn't impressed with either album, nor was the All Music Guide, which reviewed "Art Official Age" and "PlectrumElectrum" separately.

Summing up its reviews of both albums, The Guardian says there are "no lack of ideas, just focus."

Locally, the Star Tribune says the albums are a "welcome end to Prince's longest-ever music drought."

Critic Jon Bream favors "PlectrumElectrum” over "Art Official Age" though, saying "Plectrum" is the "more fully realized and satisfying disc. It’s more energetic, emotional and exciting."

Excitement from fans

Apparently undeterred by critics, Prince fans expressed their enthusiasm over Twitter.

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