Declan McCarthy

Declan McCarthy

What Time Is It? Presentation Panel Presenter

Keeping Time with The Time

Rhythm, Rejection, and "777-9311"

Ever since the release of The Time’s sophomore studio effort, What Time Is It? (1982), “777-9311” has repeatedly proven to be a steadfast favourite amongst both fans and critics alike. Undoubtedly one of the track’s most striking and noteworthy characteristics is the intricate and syncopated Linn LM-1 drum pattern that serves as the rhythmic bedrock upon which the entirety of “777-9311” is predominately based. However, while the technical intricacy of the track’s complex rhythm pattern has been afforded a great deal of attention in the intervening forty years, the lyrical component of “777-9311” has largely not been subject to the same degree of rigorous critical engagement. Indeed, while “777-9311” initially appears to strike the same amorous tone that lyrically characterises much of the content featured on What Time Is It? (1982), upon closer inspection, the track’s striking lyrical singularity becomes readily apparent. Furthermore, by shedding light on the singular lyrical nature of “777-9311,” we are likewise able to discern the manner in which the track’s aforementioned noteworthy Linn LM-1 drum pattern rhythmically evokes these same emotional concerns at a musical level.

Declan McCarthy is a graduate of the University of Bangor, Wales, UK with a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature. His principal area of critical interest lies in exploring the interplay between the musical and lyrical components of Prince’s vast body of work, and the ways in which discerning this relationship can ultimately aid us in our understanding of the central message of a particular composition. He is an occasional writer, and his most recent Prince-related article entitled ‘The Crown Jewel of Emancipation’, was published on Housequake in August 2021. He likewise contributed a thread on the track ‘ART OFFICIAL CAGE’ to the Prince Twitter Thread series concerning the latter-day Prince album, ART OFFICIAL AGE (2014). In May 2022, he joined the Housequake team and assists with posts to their various social media channels.