Release Date: Nov 29, 2019
Record label: Rhino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Contemporary R&B
It does not require a particularly close reading to see 1999 as a text about partying in spite of looming disaster, or even to stave it off. There's that coda to "Let's Pretend We're Married" ("You and I know we gotta die someday" sandwiched between one lyric about giving yourself to God and another pledging to "have fun every motherfucking night"); there's the title track, which opens the album by signaling that the whole thing might be a fever dream, and ends with Lisa Coleman cooing, "Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?" It might have been tempting, in 1982, to see Prince's experiments with synthesizers and programmed drums to be of a piece with these anxieties, emerging sounds turned against emerging fears. It might be tempting, now, to let those once cutting-edge technologies--which now read as obvious date markers--cast those same anxieties as relics of a far-off era.