Neneh Cherry & The Thing, The Cherry Thing

Published on June 28th, 2012 in: Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Kai Shuart

neneh cherry and the thing album art

Neneh Cherry debuts her collaboration with new band The Thing on the album The Cherry Thing. It is a testament to the adage that no matter what the genre, good music is good music.

There is the distorted bass and jazz inflection of Cherry original “Cashback” (a seeming meditation on one sided relationships of any stripe with lines like “You spend me/casually”) and a sax laden cover of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” (listen to it here) that replaces the keys in the original with a simple, extremely effective saxophone and drum accompaniment. My only issue is that this particular song veers too much into a jazz-oriented improvisational space where I personally don’t think it’s particularly well-suited.

Another standout off of the album is “Too Tough to Die,” a Martina Topley-Bird cover. When Neneh sings the chorus, you really feel that she is, indeed, too tough to die easily. The song is further aided by a slow bass, sax, and drum groove that also gives it the gritty atmosphere that the song absolutely requires

Finally, there is also a Stooges cover (“Dirt”), and it would have to be my favorite, because to be frank, any woman gets credit in my book for taking on Iggy. Doing it as well as Cherry does gets double. However, where Mr. Osterberg’s vocal delivery pummels you in the face, Cherry opts for a much more sultry approach, letting her vocals sneak under your skin. Also, the sax-and-cymbals crash up near the end serve the material incredibly well here, where it didn’t in the previously mentioned Suicide tune.

The Cherry Thing will, as the recent NPR review says, take you on an “unexpected” journey. I will go a step further and say that it’s a journey you have to be patient with, because no matter how many twists and turns Cherry and the band take, the destination is absolutely worthwhile.

The Cherry Thing was released June 19 from Smalltown Supersound and can be purchased from their website. Be sure to check out Neneh Cherry on Facebook.

Tour Dates:

SATURDAY 30/06: Ljubljana Jazzfestival/Slovenia
SUNDAY 01/07: Porgy & Bess/Vienna/Austria
MONDAY 02/07: Lucerna Music Bar/Prague/Czech
TUESDAY 03/07: Zaporochye/Ukrain
THURSDAY 05/07: Trænafestivalen/Træna/Mo i Rana/NO
SATURDAY 07/07: Kongsberg Jazzfestival/N (the thing + Augusti Fernandez and Peter Evans)
TUESDAY 10/07: Copenhagen Jazzfestival/Denmark
THURSDAY 12/07: Moriska Paviljongen/Malmö/Sweden
FRIDAY 13/07: Nefertiti/Göteborg/Sweden
SUNDAY 15/07: Village Underground/London
MONDAY 16/07: MelkwegAmsterdam/Netherlands
TUESDAY 17/07: Karlsruhe/Germany
WEDNESDAY 18/07: A l´arme Festival/Berlin/Germany
FRIDAY 20/07: Molde Jazzfestival/Molde/NO
SATURDAY 21/07: Konfrontationen/Nickelsdorf/Austria
SUNDAY 22/07: Girona/Spain
MONDAY 23/07: San Sebastian/Spania

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