Musicology is Prince's 28th studio album that was released on April 20, 2004 by NPG Records and distributed by Columbia Records.
The album proved to be his most successful in years, reaching the Top 5 of the album charts in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and many other countries.
It was also the first album in five years that Prince released through a major label (Sony Music) and being partially recorded in Mississauga, Ontario, it was his first album to be recorded outside Minneapolis in many years.
- Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance
- A Million Days
- Life 'o' the Party
- Call My Name
- Cinnamon Girl
- What Do U Want Me 2 Do?
- The Marrying Kind
- If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life
- On the Couch
- Dear Mr. Man
"Musicology" quickly proved to be Prince's most successful album since "Diamonds and Pearls", reaching the Top 5 in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany and making a significant impression on charts around the world. It also proved to be well received by music critics.
The album's title track was only released as a single in Australia where it enjoyed moderate chart success and airplay. However, it was also a hit on the US R&B charts through airplay.
It was certified platinum by The RIAA in June 2004 and was certified double platinum in late January 2005.
Part of the album's chart success is due to concertgoers receiving a copy of "Musicology" with the album cost included in the ticket price for the Musicology Live 2004ever tour.
This prompted Billboard magazine and Nielsen SoundScan to change its chart data methodology: For future album releases, Billboard says that customers "must be given an option to either add the CD to the ticket purchase or forgo the CD for a reduced ticket-only price."
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics.
In his review for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau said that after the album's opening uptempo songs, "pleasant shocks lurk near the surface and go against the flow of the quality material, and almost everything packs payback".
In a less enthusiastic review, Mojo magazine found it better produced and performed than it was written.
Prince won two Grammy Awards for "Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance" ("Musicology") and "Best R&B Vocal Performance—Male" ("Call My Name"), and was nominated for "Best Pop Vocal Performance—Male" ("Cinnamon Girl"), "Best R&B Song" (awarded to the songwriter) ("Call My Name") and Best R&B Album (Musicology).
He was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine's readers as the best male performer and most welcome comeback.
- Prince – all vocals and instruments except as indicated
- Candy Dulfer – vocals on "Life 'o' the Party" and "Cinnamon Girl", saxophone on "Life 'o' the Party", horns on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life" and "On the Couch"
- Chance Howard – vocals on "Life 'o' the Party", "Call My Name" and "Cinnamon Girl"
- Stokley – vocals on "Call My Name"
- Kip Blackshire – vocals on "Call My Name"
- Clare Fischer – strings on "Call My Name"
- Rhonda Smith – vocals on "Cinnamon Girl", bass on "Dear Mr. Man"
- John Blackwell – drums on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life", "On the Couch" and "Dear Mr. Man"
- Maceo Parker – horns on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life" and "On the Couch"
- Greg Boyer – horns on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life" and "On the Couch"
- Ornella Bonaccorsi – Italian speech on "What Do U Want Me 2 Do?"
- Sheila E. – shaker on "Dear Mr. Man"
- Renato Neto – Fender Rhodes on "Dear Mr. Man"