by Warren Buchholz

Dump, created by Yo La Tengo’s James McNew through 4-track cassette tapes, released an album of Prince covers back in 2001, aptly titled from the Black Album’s “Bob George” That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice? and the songs are fantastic in all their lo-fi glory. I picked this album up a few years back at a college market sale, but I never truly listened to it. Now with the news of Prince’s untimely death, I decided to pull it off the shelf and listen to it.

The batch of songs on this album each provide their own tonal qualities, giving a variety of soundscapes and quirky effects that almost remind me of The Beta Band or Pavement, especially with the first song: a slowed-down eerie version of “1999”. McNew knows how to bring out dirty guitar rhythms, which take away that pop sound and bring in that cramped and dusty garage feel. I didn’t think it would work given the quality of Prince’s original albums, but they do.

Moving on through the album, I have to say, this has to be my favourite cover of “Raspberry Beret”, with Hindu Love God’s cover following closely behind.

Prince covers are a special thing, as they are covered across a variety of different genres, and that is part of what made Prince an incredible artist–his malleability with pop and rock. And this is the most detrimental part of Prince’s death: it’s not only his music that brought joy to his listeners, but it was the inspiration he provided for other artists that covered his songs and used them as stepping stones into their own world of creation and artistry. Prince loved what he did, and he told the world to do the same. It’s a message we can all get behind.

Track Listing:
1. 1999
2. Raspberry Beret
3. Erotic City
4. The Beautiful Ones
5. When U Were Mine
6. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?
7. Pop Life
8. A Love Bizarre
9. Girls + Boys
10. Dirty Mind
11. An Honest Man
12. Another Lonely Christmas

MAAF BOX LISTENING PLEASURE: Raspberry Beret, 1999, When U Were Mine, A Love Bizarre, An Honest Man

MAAF BOX RATING: MAAF-BOX-listening-pleasure PRINCE MAAF-BOX-listening-pleasure PRINCE MAAF-BOX-listening-pleasure PRINCE

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