Sorry. I just watched the final night of the Republican National Convention and my brain is broken. Let’s listen to some Prince music instead.
About a month ago a fellow music lover that I follow on Twitter, Eric Alper, posed a question: What’s the sexiest song ever written? That’s a good one. My immediate gut response was “Any Time, Any Place” by Janet Jackson. Then I kicked myself because the obvious correct answer is “Untitled” by D’Angelo. Man, that “Untitled” video…that shit haunts me. To know what it did to D’s psyche and the trajectory of his career breaks my heart. D’Angelo should be remembered as the baddest singer/songwriter/musician in the world post-Prince, not the naked dude from that one video. Goddamn that song, though. One of the best ever.
Then, of course, I started thinking of Prince. I struggle to choose a “sexiest” Prince song. You could take that in so many directions. “The Beautiful Ones” isn’t about sex at all but damn that song is sexy as hell, especially when Prince is performing it for Apollonia in Purple Rain. “Sexy M.F.” is straight up funk. Also sexy as hell. “Scandalous” is mad sexy in the same way as the songs I mentioned above. I could go on, and probably should since limiting this list to only three songs is irresponsible as hell. I should just make a playlist.
Today’s song is a darkhorse. “Insatiable” comes from 1991’s Prince and the New Power Generation album Diamonds and Pearls. The music has a new jack vibe to it, but I guess that’s to be expected in 1991. I expect something more from Prince, but I’m not complaining. My reaction to this song is always that it reminds me musically of Keith Sweat’s “I’ll Give All My Love To You” and I’m all for it. I dig new jack swing. “Insatiable” could be a Prince/Teddy Riley collaboration.
What sets “Insatiable” apart from Keith Sweat and any of the other new jack cats I love – Aaron Hall, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Chauncey Black, Johnny Gill, etc. – was his vocals. Not that those other guys weren’t great singers in their own right. They’re not Prince. Prince had the unmatched falsetto. There’s something sexy about that falsetto, especially when you can unleash a good climactic scream, which Prince does liberally on this track. As for the lyrics, all I have to say is Prince opens the first verse with, “Turn the lights off. Strike the candle.” Prince is not here for the bullshit on this track. He’s bringing his sexy A-game.
So, on this Friday night, turn the lights off. Strike the candle. Drop the needle on this forgotten Prince slow jam.