AOTY 2023
Prince - 1999
Jul 16, 2020
Prince takes his sound into the future with even denser pop sensibilities than his prior few releases, melding in a ton of fun synthesizers and thick groovy funk. By this point Prince had already made his large creative and musical statements; 1999 was a continuation of those statements, just only with a broader appeal.

The opening title track is pure Prince, with the artist jumping straight into one of his most recognizable singles of his entire career. It's hooky, easy to groove to, and the chorus is undeniably infectious. However, later in the album Prince really solidifies the thematic elements of not only this album but his entire musical persona on D.M.S.R. Layered synthesizer, riffy guitars, plucky bass, and what sounds like a shaker line the instrumentation while Prince sings about his most common lyrical themes: Dance, music, sex, and romance. These themes pervade his entire career, and this album is by no means an exception to that rule. Let's Pretend We're Married is lustful and dirty, as is Lady Cab Driver. All the Critics Love U in New York, to me, is perhaps an early example of the kind of electronic spoken-word style LCD Soundsystem would develop decades later, and is perhaps one of his more directly different songs on the whole album.

This double album is pretty huge, with eleven songs stretching over the course of 70 minutes. How these chunky songs were accepted as massive singles is a testament to the songwriting abilities of Prince, who could make a song hook you so deep in your cheek that he could pull you along the water for miles. His songs are just that good; they catch your attention and never let it go.

Much like his last few albums, it's also impossible to ground an exact genre here. Admittedly, it is about as 80s as it gets, but Prince really was the guiding force behind some of that pop development from my perspective. For years he up to this point he had been shifting his sound in so many different ways it was like he was dancing in front of you, mocking you for not being able to keep up.

1999 is not only his best album up to this point in his career, it is also an infinitely replayable 80s gem that set the tone for the enigmas artistic flow for a decade following. Without 1999 he may have faded out - however, Prince's star was too bright to ever fizzle like that.

Favorite track: D.M.S.R.

Sign in to comment.
More Reviews by MasterCrackfox
Prince - [Love Symbol]
Jul 19, 2020
Prince - Lovesexy
Jul 19, 2020
Prince - Sign O' the Times
Jul 18, 2020
Prince - Controversy
Jul 15, 2020
Prince - Dirty Mind
Jul 14, 2020
Prince - Prince
Jul 14, 2020
Rate and review albums along with the AOTY community. Create an account today.
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
More Reviews

November Playlist