252: Musicology

Musicology (2004)
Tight and clinical funk is all well and good but for the real deal you also need to add a bit of rough treatment. Like roast potatoes when you first shake the pan: the flavour lies in the fuzzy edges. In Musicology this fuzz is provided by the synths battering the track towards the end. Those who prefer their old and new schools segregated will probably disagree but in my opinion Prince didn’t go far enough, and I would have loved another couple of minutes for the song to disintegrate into a total synth freakout: a tribute to the analogue days consumed by a digital wildfire. Prince may have built an impressive sandcastle of Mother Popcorn inspired funk but hearing it jumped on is the fun part. Speaking of The Godfather of Soul, when Prince was ten his stepdad briefly put him on stage at one of James Brown’s concerts before security intervened. In the Musicology video there’s a scene that alludes to this, and the accompanying crowd screams that begin to drown out the music is the kind of cacophony the album track misses – a delicious raucousness that echoes the giddy high of being swept up in events you have no control over. You’re about to be bundled off stage at any point but for this glorious moment you’re dancing in the presence of the Godhead.