The first time I listened to HitNRun Phase 1 (other than the first two times at Paisley Park), I used my Sennheiser headphones. They completely block out any outside noise and closing my eyes completes the barrier from the rest of the world. I put this track on repeat and listened at least 15 times in a row before I was able to allow myself to listen to anything else.
The beat of the song swung between my ears like a pendulum and immediately put me in a trance. I felt as though I was standing in the kitchen with Prince when we both got lost in his mind. There’s an intimate connection with an artist when they allow themselves to be truly authentic in their work; Prince does this in the most beautiful way. Many people may hear this song and describe it as random, but, much like “Reflection” from Musicology, Prince is simply conveying his innermost thoughts as he becomes conscious of them. We even get a glimpse of the way music is conjured within him when his tangible thoughts are interrupted by a synthesizer solo.
What’s that? Something’s burning on the stove…must be the pasta.
Every time I hear him whisper “what’s that?” my eyes open, and I become aware of my surroundings along with him. We got so lost in his thoughts that we forgot where we were and even what month it was. Prince has played with the concept of time throughout his career as well as in other songs on Phase 1, such as in “X’s Face” when he says, “a long time ago or maybe yesterday.” Although he speaks of time in an altered state in other songs, you are really able to experience it firsthand here. I’m aware that the track is listed as 3 minutes and 21 seconds long, but truly how long is it? I’ve never burned pasta before, but I would imagine it would take quite a while for it to go from simmering to burning.
Oh, yeah. It’s June.