R Hide In Plain Site

..basically, this is the best [a]Prince[/a] album since [B]'Sign O' The Times[/B]'...

Halfway through and preening post-[a]Prince[/a] house centurion [a]Romanthony[/a] asks the crucial question: “Are you a wallflower or a floorpiece?”. Oh yes, this one’s gonna separate those who find a few moments in their week to wiggle a reflexologized foot at a [a]Basement Jaxx[/a] single from those who are really serious about twisting their body into all kinds of unnatural shapes as a defiantly anti-’90s, Cameo-tinged, crisp, popping club epic pounds around them.

Like Les Rythmes Digitales, New Jersey soul-house warbler/ beat-teaser Romanthony reaches back to the ’80s and exhumes a lot of sonic souffle and Casio-encrusted electro cheese and unashamedly stirs it into a blatantly melodic mixture of once-trendy Chic burbles and so-commercial-it’s-almost-punk drum grooves. Unlike Jacques Lu Cont, however, and much more like the purple poseur whose influence seeps through most of this camp classic, Anthony Moore does all this with an untouchable belief and a classy sensuality which precludes any track-covering irony.

So, basically, this is the best [a]Prince[/a] album since ‘Sign O’ The Times‘. Actually, [a]Prince[/a] has never made an album like this, even ‘Faraway’ (which is so Paisley Park it’s almost pastiche) has breaks that [a]Prince[/a] would never program. Even the worst tracks, like the clanging ‘Countdown 2000’ and the sub-D’Angelo bluster of ‘? $ Luv’, are so sincere, so fragrant, so far from everything that makes Brit-house so fake-tanned and grim, that you can’t help but love it. What have the Romans ever done for us? Your answer’s right here.