Record label publicity materials peg this collection of previously unreleased recordings from Prince's long tenure at the company as "a noteworthy musical event". But Prince fans expecting something on the order of 1993's B-sides disc or the oft-bootlegged Black Album
are bound to be disappointed by The Vault
. While well crafted and groove-wise, these 10 tracks provide little surprise beyond their general vapidity. Sparks occasionally fly, as on the Al Green-influenced "5 Women" and the funny Chuck Berry nod "Sarah", but this set intrigues much more than it entertains. Ironically for a 1999 release, it's often more fit for smooth-jazz radio than an apocalyptic party. --Rickey Wright
CD 10 Previously Unrel.Trax From Artist Known As..Prince!