398: Curious Child

Emancipation (1996)
If there was ever a Prince song that highlighted the disparity between being heard on headphones or not it would be Curious Child. Played through speakers it begins to grate, the harpsichord-sounding melody, quirky at first, soon becomes a steel comb raking my skin. Catherine of Aragon’s hold music. However, being beamed directly into my skull transforms it into an intricate musicbox of nuances, night air and bottom-lip-biting groans. The deflowering of Carroll’s Alice. Capulet capitulation. Ley lines of ancient, hallowed desire colliding between your ears. The old woman in the picture becomes the beautiful girl wearing a hat and turning sideways. Many people wonder who the song was written about. My only question was how can you justifiably rank such a chameleonic entity?