Neneh Cherry: Blank Project (Smalltown Supersound) - album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, December 7th, 2023  

Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - PortlandiaNeneh Cherry

Blank Project

Smalltown Supersound

Feb 24, 2014 Neneh Cherry Bookmark and Share

Not one to be rushedit’s almost a quarter of a century since the release of her debut Raw Like Sushi and 16 years since her last solo releaseBlank Project marks the long overdue return of Neneh Cherry. Produced by Four Tet and recorded in just five days, it walks a similar path to her most recent work2012’s critically acclaimed collaborative project The Cherry Thingbut rather than layering her voice over avant-garde jazz, here it’s wrapped in a sparse and digitized landscape.

The beatsprovided by London duo RocketNumberNinerattle along with a taut sonic intensity which is minimal yet fierce, retaining an economy of sound that befits the quiet storm of Cherry’s vocals, with an emotional honesty in her voice that remains undiminished with age. At its best on self-confessional songs such as “Blank Project,” “Cynical,” and the ferocious “Weightless” the most acute and poignant moments of the album also feel the most personalreflecting the darker lyrical concerns of middle age, stress, depression and parental angst.

A few tracks on the second half of the album suffer from a lack of momentum that sees them fall flat when they should soarparticularly the love-story-gone-sour “Dossier” and the much-touted Robyn duet “Out of the Black,” both of which feel like missed opportunities. But minor quibbles aside, for the most part Blank Project shares the same timeless quality as her best work and sees a mature and engaging return for one of pop’s true originals. Let’s just hope she doesn’t leave it so long next time. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 7/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.