182: Papa

Come (1994)
Before today I’d never closely listened to Papa. The child-abuse theme was always too ALL CAPS. The smacks too visceral. It took until now to realise the abusive father commits suicide and that part is written in nine-foot steel letters! Previously I’d obviously averted my ears like a cowardly citizen and wrapped myself in the comforting duvet of underwater blues. Self-preservation. And that’s coming from someone blessed with a trauma-free upbringing. How those less fortunate perceive the song is beyond my ken. Papa feels like it should have an “if you were affected by issues discussed” helpline number tagged on the end but instead has the next best thing: the NPG pierce the storm clouds with a 30-second blast of healing sunlight while Prince ties a rainbow on it. A welcome chance to rearrange your face before you enter the next track… which is Race. Why did I ever think this was his sex album?