22 April 2004

11. shy (from the gold experience lp, 1996)
one of the things i've always found difficult to locate within prince's work is the influence of joni mitchell. he's mentioned it ininterviews, he's quoted her in songs ("dorothy parker"), as of late, he's covered her ("case of you" on one nite alone.)

"sometimes it snows in april" could be joni-influenced; it could just be a man with a guitar, like any other singer/songwriter of the 70s. something about "shy," though, from the overlooked gold experience seems to just shout "joni," though it's more like a wordless cry. i can't quite capture it in words: maybe it's there in the vocals, the way he scales octaves; maybe it's in the lyrics, an elusive account of a sexually-charged encounter. mostly, though, i think it exists in the guitar playing, in the numerous textures he elicits from his guitar, layering, juxtaposing. it brings to hejira to mind; it's a song i wish he'd reclaim and a reminder to all the young'uns that influence need not always manifest itself in slavish recreations.

No comments: