“That shit is the mad notes. Written by God Herself and handed down to the greatest band in the world… the motherfuckin’ Time!” – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
That’s right retro party people, the Time is back, except due to some longstanding legal what-have-you’s they are now The Original 7ven, or ‘the band formerly known as the Time’ as they slyly call themselves in reference to the man that still owns the rights to the original name. Apparently, other than that small detail, they are still on good terms with the Purple One.
Condensate, their first album of new material in 21 years, drops today and features all seven original members of the Time – Morris Day, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jesse Johnson, Jerome Benton, Jellybean Johnson and Monte Moir. Judging from the sound of the first single, #Trendin, the dance-funk grooves that helped put the 80’s Minneapolis R&B music scene (great article on early Prince and the fellas) on the map are alive and well, updated with lyrics pertinent to the signs o’ the times. Some material dates back to the 90s, according to Lewis, but most of the tracks were written over the past 3 years after the group’s live performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Rest assured though, the ever-stylish Morris Day still preens into his Jerome-held mirror and delivers trademark cheeky-cheese lines such as ‘you like the 12″? …and i don’t mean the record’, and ‘talkin’ about one of my favourite subjects – me!’, punctuated with his staple bird-like haw-HAW.
My love for the Time can surely be traced back to the depths of my public school gymnasium, where ‘cool’ high school kids would come in and DJ our dances, packing Prince, Michael Jackson, Platinum Blonde and Corey Hart into their vinyl crates of all that was hip and relevant. And of course, girls. Anyone who says they didn’t practice ‘the Time dance’ at home in front of a mirror at least once beforehand is lying to you. While standing up against the gym wall, the lights would dim to the first chorus-soaked guitar chords of Purple Rain reverberating out into the near darkness, signalling that it was time to make your big move, or risk spending the next 8 minutes of your pathetic life alone and staring down at your best sneakers. Read more