162: Fascination

The Truth (1998)
Anna Karenina’s opening sentence – happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way – could also be applied to songwriters. Spite can be a more creative muse than love. Love is universal and can find expression along pre-existing furrows. Spite has to needle out its own path. This is why Fascination, found on The Truth, compels. Its frantic flamenco style could only be born of a bitter fury looking for its acoustic-album-appropriate voice. Prince takes out his resentment by shredding his fingers to the bone and drawing lyrical daggers that offer little to suggest where they’re pointing. Michael Jackson was thought to be the target, mainly for the line “so-called king gives birth 2 to so-called prince”. But Fascination is believed to precede Jackson’s son Prince by several months. Regardless, the real story is better hidden in the shadows. Tales of spite may titillate but its sublimation into art is to witness the divine.