Neneh Cherry & The Thing
The Cherry Thing
Jun 19, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer
Singer Neneh Cherry has spent her career all over the map, taking up residence in several countries and lending her skills to a wide array of projects, from fronting punk bands to her hip-hop solo work. She even served as an arranger on Massive Attack's Blue Lines. Now into her fourth decade as a professional musician, she's only just releasing a fourth record under her name, and her first in 16 years.
The Cherry Thing, named for the jazz trio that backs her on the record, is mostly comprised of covers and reinterpretations of songs by Suicide, The Stooges, MF Doom, Ornette Coleman, Martina Topley-Bird, and Neneh's stepfather, Don Cherry. (There's only one Cherry-credited original: the leadoff track, "Cashback.") Sound-wise, it isn't too far off from her early work with the jazz-funk unit Rip Rig + Panic, but it's more improvisational than that group's post-punk-influenced arrangements. The loosely associated squawks and honks of a saxophone and clattering drums regularly overpower her words, sounding at times as if Cherry were trying to sing over The Lounge Lizards. It's a tough listen, shrill and disjointed. Those hoping for a follow-up to the bombastic hip-hop of her breakout Raw Like Sushi will likely be disappointed. (www.nenehcherry.de)
Author rating: 3/10
Average reader rating: 10/10