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 Rockhard 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.