219: Last December

The Rainbow Children (2001)
Behold an epic, rousing closer to make Andrew Lloyd Webber disown Jesus Christ Superstar as tawdry junk. Last December starts off like Gold or Purple Rain minus the fireworks or frisson. A tame but pleasing, spiritual send-off to finish the record on a gospel high. A happy ending. Closure. And on a lesser album, that would be your lot and you would be thankful. But on The Rainbow Children Prince goes that extra mile and here he gives a turbo injection of guitar just before the three-minute mark. A blistering solo, thrown in like a smoke bomb to disrupt the wholesomeness and tear holes in the Earth. And when the mist clears we hear glimpses of Santana and whispering, fiery-eyed djinns. The four horsemen of the apocalypse perform dressage while the entire cast of human civilisation, living and dead, rejoin the stage for the final curtain call. Prince told us in The Same December that in the end that’s where we’ll go, and now that time has come. The choir returns to hold our hand once more, while we leap into the ravine, Thelma & Louise style, and leave the parting word ‘one’ reverberating in the air for an unnaturally long time, like the last note in A Day in the Life or the final word ever spoken on Earth.