315: Dreamin’ About U

Emancipation (1996)
This ethereal song embodies Schopenhauer’s adage that to read a book’s pages in the correct order is living, while to dip in at random is dreaming. The lyrics evoke a strobing Tarot-animation of wind, roses, Roman ruins and the solar system as Prince flicks through his purple encyclopaedia of symbolism. An empty room and his “lustier twin” Gemini re-emerge from previous albums and even words like “adore” and “call” are weighted with Princely history. Throughout this dreamscape an electronic triangle pings as persistent as an alarm clock. The ringing is only in the left channel so you can remove an earphone and drift into a whispering half-world, interrupted only by the sounds of your immediate environment. The triangle’s presence used to annoy me but I see it now as the wax in Odysseus’s ears, or a bread-crumb trail back to reality. There would be no coming back from a mono version.