Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Dash of Excitement

So naturally I've got lots of Prince tracks on the brain of late--beats, choruses, lyrics, etc. But the thing I most respond to in most music, and one of the many reasons I cherish his, is harmony. That's why I tripped out on the mind-bending flat-V in "Sometimes It Snows in April," why "Ballad of Dorothy Parker" is maybe my favorite of all his songs (well, it's not just the harmony in that case, but those chords!), why I love deep cuts like "The Question of U" and "Joy in Repetition"...and why a bracing string filigree in the otherwise straightforward ditty "Take Me With U" just knocks me out. Over the song's sunny, "1999"-ish synth hook in A, Prince layers a rapid little seven-note riff more or less in the key and scale of B, and it gives the song a little shot of adrenaline each time (it first appears at 1:06). If may not make the song bitonal, exactly, but it certainly feels bi-curious. And of course it's not just a random decoration: It gives this song about escape with a lover a real dash of adventure and excitement.

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