228: This Could B(e) Us

Art Official Age (2014) / HITnRUN Phase One (2015)
Prince often retweeted memes he featured in, but the viral “THIS COULD BE US BUT YOU PLAYIN” jpeg of himself and Apollonia inspired an album track. Twice. Out of the two versions of This Could Be Us, the remix is punchier and puts some meat on the space-ballad’s delicate bones. The original starts off with a Close Encounters melody, twinkles like a malfunctioning holodeck and slows to a close HAL-style. But HITnRUN’s revisit takes the sci-fi effects and ramps it up into warp-drive. The second half is now basically an instrumental and all the better for it, although the song’s lyrics aren’t as corny as they first sound. “You want me like a new pair of shoes” and “you’re the cage to my dove” may seem like clumsy and misguided pick-up lines, but in the context of Art Official Age’s narrative, Mr Nelson has yet to receive his first affirmation on how to interact with the opposite sex. The recently awoken time-traveller is still concerned with words like “me” and “mine” and is currently reliving past relationships where he wants to possess and be shown off as a possession. It’s this restricting mindset that’s caging his dove of inner peace. Or hey, Prince may have just grasped for a word rhyming with ‘love’ without thinking too hard about it but where’s the magic in believing that?