Prince's "The Breakdown" is his first new Warner Bros. single

"Listen to me closely as the story unfolds. This could be saddest story ever been told." That's how Prince begins his first new material since reteaming with his longtime label, Warner Bros. Aside from some occasional laser blasts "The Breakdown" is a timeless -- and sad -- ballad that could date back decades in the Purple One's career. But it adds a layer of reflection that he didn't have during wilder times.

According to the Prince Vault, the song features Andy Allo on backing vocals and was recorded sometime in 2012 at Paisley Park. He mentioned it briefly during his recent visit to the Arsenio Hall Show.

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Prince signs new deal with Warner Bros.

"The Breakdown" is a tale -- possibly autobiographical -- of someone sobering up and finding perspective. "I used to throw the party every New Year's Eve," he sings. "First one intoxicated, last one to leave. Waking up in places that you would never believe. Gimme back the time, you can keep the memories." He embodies the title midway through with some high-pitched emotion that verges upon the uncomfortable.

Lyrically, this song is in a different artistic realm than Prince's last few offerings, and it sounds like a man having fun while tackling something serious. No word if this song is expected to be part of an eventual new studio album as part of the new Warner deal, but it's worthy. 

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