Title: “Dirty Mind”
Prince took a leap forward as a songwriter with his third slab, 1980′s “Dirty Mind,” when he was able to look to where the ’80s were headed rather than try to keep up with his ’70s contemporaries.
While “Dirty Mind” is bereft of the Purple One’s fancy guitar fireworks, it doesn’t feel like he’s outreaching his grasp.
It’s easy to see “Dirty Mind” as a directional template. As the title suggests, “Dirty Mind” is Prince unrestrained, from the suggestive, spoken-word vocals of “Head” to “Sister,” which makes no apologies for being about incest.
It’s the groundwork of the supersexual persona he’s worn as a badge of honor throughout the past three decades of his recording career.
Though the production is dated, relying heavily on synthesizers and keyboards, it doesn’t adopt every ’80s cliché. Bass rules in “When You Were Mine” while Prince’s voice sails into his famous upper register with ease near the song’s conclusion.
It isn’t as strong as later Prince efforts, but for a vision of him growing and gaining confidence, “Dirty Mind” is a good glimpse.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.