Review #45: Sign O’ The Times, Prince

Karla Clifton
3 min readMar 3, 2021

#45: Sign O’ The Times, Prince

I’ve already mentioned that I didn’t love this album. All these songs are so dance-y. I feel like this is like club music, and I have only distant memories of being in clubs now, so it was hard for me to enjoy it. I’m not a huge dancer to begin with. Also, Prince has a much whinier voice on this album than on Purple Rain, which began to drive me nuts.

But of course on a second listen I found a lot to love. Chalk my initial distaste for it to the musical saturation point that became acutely obvious during Illmatic, and my obsession with “Gimme Shelter.”

Note that I originally only listened to the remastered version of this. That one leaves out a whopping six songs that were on the original release, including “Play In The Sunshine” and “Housequake.” (All these songs are marked with a *.) I made a point to go back and listen to these songs upon my relisten, since I am honestly really worried about being haunted by Prince and I won’t risk insulting him. If the ghost of Prince is reading these reviews, I assure you that every critical thing I say about you is in JEST.


“Sign ‘O’ The Times” — This song is terrifying!

“Play In the Sunshine”* — Oh WOW he looks so eighties in this video. This song is fifty times more fun than any other song on this album, what a shame I didn’t hear it on my road trip. He’s such a guitar hero.

“Ballad of Dorothy Parker”* — Okay this one rocks. I love a good Prince character study.

“It” — I love his dedication to this drum machine. This one has an understated guitar solo, and that’s always fun.

“Starfish and Coffee” Starfish and coffee/Maple syryp and jam. Would you eat a starfish? Y/N

“Hot Thing”* — Points for this amazing live version.

“Forever In My Life”* — WHOA. Based on the title I assumed I would hate this song, but it scared me. It’s a threatening love song, like if “Every Breath You Take” was written by an alien.

“U Got the Look” — Love the synth intro, love the creepy women whispering, love the use of the letter “U.” At a certain point during this song, however, it sounds like Prince is transforming into Alvin from Alvin & the Chipmunks.

“I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man” Bruce Springsteen, is that you?? This was the only one that I actually wanted to be longer.

“The Cross” — This one is very slow but Prince’s voice is so beautiful. The ending harmony when he says The crooooss is haunting.

“It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night”Oohweeyoh. Ooooh-ooooh.


“Housequake”* — I don’t think I like this one, but the RS blurb says it has a “brontosaurus funk.” Okay, sure, whatever.

“Slow Love” — Guess what, this song is too slow. It’s NOT so much better when we take our time. I distinctly remember turning the volume down a tiny bit and wailing the harmony to “Gimme Shelter” over it.

“If I Was Your Girlfriend” — To be totally honest I hated the experience of listening to this song while I was on the road, and I have no desire to listen to it most of the time, which is why I’ve put it here. But on a second listen I can appreciate its unhinged genius. I love when he does that insane thing where he pretends to cry; it’s so full of very stressful octave jumps and vocal effects.

“Strange Relationship”* — Eh.

“Adore” — Too lovey-dovey and WAY too slow. Prince is cool until he’s lame.


No. I wish every Prince album came with a blockbuster movie!

Review #44: Illmatic, Nas

Review #46: Graceland, Paul Simon