1. It’s FANTASTIC!
2. Rule number one in today’s online, media overload world is…YOU HAVE TO WANT TO PLAY IT AGAIN! And if you don’t want to hear “Screw Driver” again as soon as it’s over, you’ve got no genitals…and no ears.
3. That’s the new definition of fantastic. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. Not something contemplated and intellectualized, just a visceral response. Have I heard better tracks than this… OF COURSE! But life is worthless without the new. But in the land of overhype, we’re constantly saying no. It’s shocking and exciting to say YES!
4. This is the new paradigm. No advance hype. We’re only interested in the track anyway. All that buildup for a first good week at SoundScan… That was always to impress retail, so they’d order more stock. Now physical retail is history and online there’s UNLIMITED inventory! As for making a media splash…that’s irrelevant too. It all comes down to where the rubber meets the road, the court of public opinion. And nothing you say or do can massage these listeners. That’s just what they want to do…LISTEN!
5. Bowie had it wrong. His track had almost no repeatability, unless you were a fan who believed he could do no wrong, the converted. But play this for a nine year old who’s clueless as to Prince, and they’ll get it.
6. Maybe I’m too dumb to get “Suit & Tie.” Maybe if I knew more and played it ten times I’d get it. But I don’t know jack and I don’t want to hear it again, so I’m out of the loop as to its genius, if it’s got any. If you’re gonna break the rules, do something new, deliver something unexpected, it’s got to be a 10…otherwise stay with the tried and true.
7. It’s not rap. And it’s not beat-driven drivel. It’s retro and modern at the same time. And it’s more rock than disco. Sure, it’s got a driving beat, but this is more rock and roll than anything on “Dirty Mind.”
8. Thirty seconds. That’s how much you get if you’re a superstar. If you’re a newbie or a hack, you get maybe ten. The verse starts off interesting, a bit better than so-so, then there’s the undeniable hook sixteen seconds in. If you don’t melt when you hear it, you wouldn’t sweat in hell.
9. And let’s not let the cheesy backup vocals in the hook go by without notice. Sure, it’s Prince’s signature sound, but he hasn’t been relevant on record in eons. In a world where everything’s processed and perfect, Prince’s record sounds positively human.
10. You’re reading the lyrics and then…you see the video of the band! There’s no band on the Top Forty, there’s no band on “American Idol” or “The Voice,” but here’s the best live performer of the modern era showing us how it’s really done, just a bunch of musicians in the garage, grooving on the power of playing, knowing first and foremost it’s about FUN! Come on, the girl drummer in the hat… She’s not mugging for the camera, she’s not radiating sex, she’s radiating MUSIC! And there’s nothing sexier than that. J. Lo is for the cameras, she’s two-dimensional, this woman could actually have a discussion with you.
11. The instrumental after the hook! He’s breaking all the rules! You’re supposed to go right back into the verse. This is the way you rehearse, not the way you record. But it allows the listener to get locked into the music, the groove.
12. I’M UR DRIVER, UR MY SCREW! Reminiscent of nothing so much as Bryan Adams’ “The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You.” But with even a deeper sexual connotation. That’s Prince, walking right up to the line and dancing upon it. On one hand the words are innocent, on the other they’re OOZING with sexuality!
13. The second hook, which is so subtle…SCREW YOU! He puts it right out there, this is where he crosses the aforementioned line.
14. The Beach Boys guitar. Yup, it’s right there. Straight off a surf record. The sounds, the whole record is positively retro, yet completely modern!
15. The hats! He’s from MINNESOTA! It’s cold. Instead of being everyman, he’s locating the band…roots are important!
16. PEOPLE PAY $ 4 THE ROCK N ROLL! Rock is not dead, it’s just lacking energy, a hit song. Its savior just showed up. What kind of crazy world do we live in where the best rapper is white and the best rocker is black!
17. WE GOT A LONG LONG WAY 2 GO. Huh? In a world that’s here today and gone tomorrow, where you don’t even want a two year old phone, Prince is saying it’s about ongoing relationships, that the dividend comes from continuance? This is contrary to everything in our mechanized society, but it’s the truth, it’s real.
18. SHARING STORIES AND COOL CLOTHES. That’s what relationships are all about! Come on, you know how it is, especially early in your history, when your girlfriend wears your shirt, that means SHE LOVES YOU!
19. THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS LIKE ON THE ROAD. That’s where Prince has been, for years. Everybody else talks about it, makes videos about it, but Prince truly lives it, you feel that this is a message from the caravan. Remember when your dream was to run away with the rock and roll circus? If listening to this track doesn’t make you want to join the safari, you don’t belong in this business, you’re not a fan.
20. MUSIC NEVER LIES U KNOW IT’S TRUE. I’d disagree with this. GREAT music never lies. But we haven’t had that spirit here since… There ain’t a single lie or calculation in this song, just pure honesty and exuberance, a man with talent willing us, demanding us, to pay attention.
21. It’s too long! It shouldn’t have the instrumental section at the end. That’s what happens when everybody believes there are rules. Did you see today’s viral video:
A great artist doesn’t believe in rules, to quote that old seer Donald Fagen…”I cried when I wrote this song, sue me if I play too long.”
22. Can you imagine being at the gig? When Prince starts playing this? THE AUDIENCE IS GONNA GO NUTS! You can’t sit still listening to “Screw Driver” at home, imagine hearing it live! With all those sweating bodies, the power of the music flowing from your fingers to your toes… There’s nothing like seeing your favorite band playing their big hit of the moment, it’s just shy of an orgasm. And when it’s a driving, physical anthem, the experience is TRANSCENDENT!
23. Prince has been clueless for so long. But one thing Prince has never stopped doing is creating, writing and playing new music. And he’s put out so much that we thought we were burned out, that we no longer cared, that he was done, toast. But that’s not true. We’re always open to something incredible from the legends. But unlike Prince, most legends are afraid of the audience, they’re so busy getting it right that they polish new stuff to perfection and we can’t identify, or don’t bother to put out anything at all.
24. “Screw Driver” is not timeless, it’s just for now…AND THAT’S WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IT!
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