137: Good Love

Bright Lights, Big City (1998) / Crystal Ball (1998)
With every Camille song there’s something delightfully maladjusted in Prince’s delivery. Whether it’s the spiralling neediness of If I was Your Girlfriend or the dive-barfly sleaze of Rock Hard in a Funky Place, his alter ego does not sound a well bunny. Good Love starts off differently. The first three verses are pure of heart and playfully childlike. Lennon-esque in its wordplay. But then Camille’s manic streak comes out in an over-enthusiastic outro which sounds more coked up than Michael J Fox in the film it soundtracks. The bubblegum psychedelia turns dark as its peacock-feathered sun sets to become something more like Superfunkycalifagisexys frightening neon night. Good Love gone bad. The track makes several references to Gustav Mahler, a composer whom Alex Ross describes in The Rest is Noise as “a kaleidoscope of moods – childlike, heaven storming, despotic, despairing” and you could say the same about Camille. Good Love shows the character’s childlike side, while “heaven storming, despotic, despairing” in turn sum up the unreleased album’s opening three tracks: Rebirth of the Flesh, Housequake, and Strange Relationship. Camille may just be Prince with his vocals pitched up but underneath rages a dazzling symphony of neuroses.