Prince + M.I.A. | Track reviews
A paean to morning sex and a provocateur’s ode to herb.
Published: February 14, 2013
“Breakfast Can Wait”
Prince may occasionally undermine himself with eccentric pop maneuvers, but that’s a side effect of taking risks, and in his case, redemption is often just around the corner. Recently he dropped the disposable “Screwdriver,” a tepid rocker that sounds as if it was commissioned for a pool party at the Playboy Mansion. But he quickly (and quietly) followed it up with a gem, “Breakfast Can Wait,” a seductive bedroom plea more in line with the sleek funk he was pumping out in the ’90s. The tune finds Prince floating a steady stream of sweet nothings disguised as food metaphors over glowing keys, rubbery bass and a crisp beat. That would be enough for most artists, but Prince remains a resolutely strange dude, and toward the end of the song he pitches up his voice until it sounds as if it’s an infant who’s saying “Come here baby / Let me put you on my plate.” It’s deeply odd, creepy almost, but at this point we expect nothing less of the Purple Yoda.
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying M.I.A.’s ability to provoke. Following a mountain of bad publicity for her sorta self-titled album, MAYA, she rebounded with a spellbinding video for “Bad Girls” then proceeded to give the Super Bowl its weakest kerfuffle ever. “Doobie” may be included on her forthcoming follow-up, it may not. The producer of the track, Danja, leaked it via a YouTube clip, explaining that he prefers it to “Bad Girls,” which he also produced. Over a staccato march that calls to mind a crunk drum corps, M.I.A. chants, “I spy with my little eye / Something that can get you high.” But this is the opposite of a stoner jam, hard driving with a tinge of paranoia. Baroque-like chords underscore an ominous synth warble before M.I.A. offers a fleeting melody in the form of a few falsetto “doobie doo”s that leave us wanting more. The track is a tease, a vehicle for innocuous boasts but a banger nonetheless—that it’s called “Doobie” is utter provocation.