441: Lolita

3121 (2006)
Fuzzy, tight synths and a constrained rhythm help create a personal space invading atmosphere in which Prince’s Humbert Humbert is dutifully knocking back the advances of his underage admirer. I know the word ‘lolita’ has fallen into common parlance but to my mind it’s so inseparable from Vladimir Nabokov’s glissading writing style that the name of his most famous creation seems to sit uncomfortably on this regimented machine funk. But that may just be the raving Nabokov fanatic in me. Literary references aside, the song is a fun romp from an older, responsible Prince. A funky click track clipping the wings of ripening desire. It’s cut from the same paño as 2009’s Valentina and I’ve heard it compared to the jerky, more lubricated Soft and Wet, but when held in the same light as his debut single Lolita becomes, to quote Nabokov, just “rust and stardust”.