Neneh Cherry & The Thing: The Cherry Thing (2012)
Theirs is not crossover music as much as it is street-barricading sounds.
On The Cherry Thing the trio backs vocalist Neneh Cherrystepdaughter of Don Cherry, and a pop, punk, hip hop and world music star in her own right.
The players aim for no prisoners here, applying a post-punk sensibility to a range of sounds. The band covers "Accordion" by hip hop artist MF Doom, which becomes a sort of Gil Scott-Heron rap mined for the message, while Gustafsson's baritone flares. Same for "Too Tough To Die," a muscular urbanized anthem. Cherry parses out her step father's music with the spirituality of "Golden Heart" and on her own "Cashback." The back trio supports her throughout, yet never neglects its own sound. "Sudden Moment" begins as a slow loping blues, Gustafsson harmonizing with Cherry; the saxophonist then takes on his Albert Ayler persona, blasting forth as Nilssen-Love's drum kit thunders over Flaten's pulse. Their burning core is barely contained.
That intensity carries over to the band's cover of The Stooges' "Dirt." Gustafsson's saxophone flutters before the impenetrable heaviness of the music descends. Cherry's vocals become a pastiche of Iggy Pop and undiluted sex, urging the band to burn the stage down. The highlight single, however, is Cherry's cover of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," a persistent and reiterated mantra of hope, sound and conviction.
Track Listing: Cashback; Dream Baby Dream; Too Tough Too Die; Sudden Moment; Accordion; Golden Rod; Dirt; What Reason.
Personnel: Neneh Cherry: voice; Mats Gustafsson: saxophones; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: double bass, electric bass; Paal Nilsson-Love:drums.
Record Label: Smalltown Supersound