Music

Prince - "Dance 4 Me" (stream)

Somewhere in this infinite universe there’s a club which only jumps to Prince tunes. Do yourself a favor and call back in – you’ll wonder why you ever left.

What an odd tipple "Dance 4 Me", Prince’s new single, is. I say new, yet the track has been lurking around for a couple of years, having originally surfaced as part of the post-squiggle-Purple One’s three-album 2009 project, Lotusflow3r. Finally receiving an official global single release this past month -- a slow but nevertheless worthy response to the track’s success as a club dance track, remixed by Icon -- back-story, year of creation or reason for release aside, "Dance 4 Me" is one tasty peach.

Prince is – and has been for at least a decade -- in that odd, altogether tricky position where everything he does is instantly cross-referenced backwards to some other phase of his supposedly bygone majesty. No doubt because once Purple Rain secured his monarchy, Prince went on to prove so relentlessly prolific, with each subsequent album seeing him (effortlessly) evolve through concentric style changes, that audiences can be forgiven for having come to accept that, at least part of his appeal – not unlike Bowie, but more in line with his then-chart rival, Madonna – was actually about change itself.

A conundrum which, upon first listen, Dance 4 Me cannot avoid. I’ll admit, seeing the generic dance culture sleeve, I was already wincing at what could so easily have been an after-the-fact stab for (at least a decade askew) dance music cool. Yet, stick with "Dance 4 Me" and within several plays I guarantee you’ll be back in love with Prince like it’s way before "1999" (sorry!). Because "Dance 4 Me" is less reaching throwback, more a mighty reminder of how utterly, bewilderingly fantastic Prince clearly still has the power to be when he bumps the funk and focuses that otherwise planet-sized talent of his down to classic pop single duration.

Like all the best brews, "Dance 4 Me" is a synergy of flavas - the first tantalization to come through is a hint of pre-"1999" Prince, via the track’s simplicity itself, chiefly its reliance on the vocal to deliver the main melody and, as a consequence, the return to prominence of that unmistakably choppy but concise, punctuating funk guitar. Not far behind in the simple mix – joy of all returning joys -- is that undeniable signature electronic drum sound. (And it says something about Prince’s impact that the merest recall of that one, single drum sound raises great memories.) Then, within several lines of the first verse, you realize that, yes, Prince is still into phone sex and the belief that getting sweaty to music is a device of the Divine – all delivered by that Sign O’The Times joy, a vari-sped vocals, safely pitching Prince above common-or-garden perv into his a doe-eyed, forever forgivable, combi-sexual imp.

Somewhere in this infinite universe there’s a club which only jumps to Prince tunes: It never closes; it’s loud, psychedelically lit and filled to bursting with the hottest, grinding boys and girls. Do yourself a favor and call back in – you’ll wonder why you ever thought about leaving in the first place.

To quote Prince himself on "Dance 4 Me": Hallelujah!

Prince "Dance 4 Me" by Purple Music


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.

Music

David Lord Salutes Collaborators With "Cloud Ear" (premiere)

David Lord teams with Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground) for a new collection of sweeping, frequently meditative compositions. The results are jazz for a still-distant future that's still rooted in tradition.

Music

Laraaji Takes a "Quiet Journey" (premiere +interview)

Afro Transcendentalist Laraaji prepares his second album of 2020, the meditative Moon Piano, recorded inside a Brooklyn church. The record is an example of what the artist refers to as "pulling music from the sky".

Music

Blues' Johnny Ray Daniels Sings About "Somewhere to Lay My Head" (premiere)

Johnny Ray Daniels' "Somewhere to Lay My Head" is from new compilation that's a companion to a book detailing the work of artist/musician/folklorist Freeman Vines. Vines chronicles racism and injustice via his work.

Music

The Band of Heathens Find That Life Keeps Getting 'Stranger'

The tracks on the Band of Heathens' Stranger are mostly fun, even when on serious topics, because what other choice is there? We all may have different ideas on how to deal with problems, but we are all in this together.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.