By the mid-80’s, Prince was at the height of his creative powers. Utterly fearless and endlessly adventurous. One of his most surprising inventions at the time was the creation of a female alter-ego whom he christened Camille. Basically she was Prince with studio manipulated/pitched up vocals. Now the plan at the time was to release an album as Camille. It was recorded, mastered and allegedly printed but the plug was pulled at the last minute for reasons unknown. Fortunately a few of the songs earmarked for that project ended up on the “Sign ‘O” The Times”, most famously “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, and so we were at least blessed with a little something. Still, how brilliant and boundary pushing would it have been for such a gloriously androgynous pop creation, and work of art to have been properly unleashed. Lord.
Prince had Camille, and Emma Louise has Joseph. And it is Joseph who sings the lead on the epic, plush, Goldfrapp-ian “Mexico”. Story is that while recording her first album back in 2013, Emma heard her some of her backing vocals pitched down and was so taken with the effect that a new identity was born to embody this otherworldly voice, and that is Joseph. And the result is just beauteous: a galloping, widescreen anthem of the highest order. It also brought to mind the brilliant “My Father” as sung by Alison Limerick on the 2nd legendary This Mortal Coil LP from ’84 and you can’t get any better than that.