125: Calhoun Square

Crystal Ball (1998)
Where is this exotic Shangri-la where people don’t care what freaky clothes and hair you wear as you walk through coloured veils? In the eighties we were told of another love-filled place where your clothes and hair didn’t matter: could Calhoun Square be the utopian Uptown? There was a time where my entire knowledge of Minneapolis was gleaned from Prince songs and to be honest I preferred it that way. The magic gets lost a little when you find out Uptown is a commercial district and Calhoun Square is a shopping mall opposite the NPG store. It’s like somebody from West Yorkshire writing about a mysterious place called The Merrion Centre (take me thur, if you dur…). But such prosaic concerns about real-world settings fade when the music starts. It has the quiet quiet LOUD LOUD dynamics that What’s My Name? repeats a track later. Verses quietly smoulder, then the furnace gates blast open for the incendiary, mainly-instrumental chorus. Words aren’t needed. With this backing, he could be singing about an industrial estate in Chernobyl and I’d still want to move there.