Got the three-CD Prince compilation in the mail a coupla days ago, and been spot-bopping my way through it. The songs I keep listening to over and over again are “When Doves Cry,” “Sign o’ the Times” and “Kiss” . . . the grand high trio of weird, minimalist funk-rock, three of the most extraordinarily lean, yet ass-kickingly powerful, songs to ever chart, and chart well (at least two of ’em, anyway . . . I don’t recall “Sign o’ the Times” being a big radio hit, but I was in serious alcohol fog when that one came out, so I coulda just missed it being on the radio). But I haven’t gone into full Prince listening obsession mode, ’cause I’ve also been giving big spins to Bryan Thomas‘ new disc, Babylon. It’s stripped down and lean, too, most of it recorded live in one day with half of the Kamikaze Hearts serving as the rhythm section; just guitar, bass, drum, voice. But it’s a powerful ass-kick too, lyrically and musically, with some amazing songs that really fly in these Spartan settings. I won’t offer many product endorsements on this web site, but this is one record that everyone who surfs through here should hear: the world would be a better place if more people listened to Bryan Thomas’ music, and paid attention to what he uses it to say.