- Dream Baby Dream
- Too Tough To Die
- Sudden Moment
- Golden Heart
- What Reason Could I Give
PROS AND CONS OF NENEH CHERRY & THE THING'S THE CHERRY THING
—This is Neneh Cherry's first record in 16 years.
—It's Neneh Cherry, guys.
—Yo, hang in the buffalo wings, B-boys.
—It is a free jazz record. The Thing are Scandinavian free-jazz types that just-so-happen to be named after a song by Neneh's stepdad Don, which is a clever means to deflect attention away from being pre-judged as "coming back" with a "comeback." The project mainly translates to The Thing taking a lot of popular hits: Suicide's much-covered "Dream Baby Dream," MF Doom's "Accordion," The Stooges' "Dirt," a Martina Topley-Bird song, and re-working them in a freeeeee jazz style, which is a nice-enough work of elasticated oddness, but the point of all this is never quite defined. It's a bit like when Duran Duran did Thank You. It's a bit less like when Bowie did Pin-Ups, 'cause Pin-Ups gave you an insight into where he was coming from as an artist, and he managed to fuse the neo-50s elements already present in his music onto those songs and really milk them for fresh sentiment.
This, on the other hand, doesn't shed any light on Neneh's past works, nor does it re-work these songs in a way that deletes the source material from your central frame of reference, so the best way to think of it is not so much a "Neneh Cherry record" as a "Thing record" with Neneh Cherry doing guest vox throughout. We should probably kiss some ass at this point, as it is Neneh Cherry, after all, but then again, this has sometimes been described as a "confrontational listen," which is always a bit of a weird description. I mean, people don't cook "confrontational" meals, do they? I think we all know what it means...And before we get too excited about Neneh Cherry's late-80s heyday, let's recall that the title of her 90s rainbow anthem "7 Seconds" referred to: “The length of time a newborn baby remains free of prejudice”, which is not only terribly unscientific, it's also quite silly.
Neneh Cherry is back. But not really.