444: Cinnamon Girl

Musicology (2004)
Classic pop rock, with a title borrowed from Neil Young and a video that made more headlines than the song. The music may not have enough spiky eccentricity to make it anybody’s favourite single but it has an insanely catchy hook and the subject matter of Arab-American Victimisation In A Post 9/11 World can hardly be called trite. Ignoring the enforced black and white discourse of the time – the top-down message of patriotic us and evil them – Prince dabbled in the shades singing “both sides truly die” thus attracting ridiculous claims of terrorist apologia. “Hate begets hate you say? Them’s fighting words. Burn him!” The video brings more life to the scorched, blood-red skies of the lyrics but having a suicide bomber fantasy in a format not renowned for nuance caused many to be riled. The conservative New York Post called the video the “most tasteless ever” showing that not all the critics love U in New York. And all this from such a sweet little tune that your mom could hum along to. It’s a Christmas dinner argument hidden in a MOR Trojan horse.