176: Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife

Emancipation (1996)
The cream of Emancipation can be found on its second disc, and the crème de la crème is Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife, Prince’s wedding gift to Mayte. Like most weddings the previous hour or two have been a love-in of sweet sentiment, tired tropes and readings that range from the rote to the ridiculous – but it’s all been leading to this moment: the vows. And as soon as they start, the album-standard plastic drums get lost under a tsunami of swelling strings, backing vocals and bridal balladry. Out of all the weddings I’ve been to, only my own surpasses this listening experience. And even that may be too close to call.