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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Jazz meets Melody?
This is a very interesting collaboration between Neneh Cherry and a Scandinavian Free Jazz trio called the Thing.

Those who have only heard the pop/rap/R&B singles of the Raw Like Sushi era - are going to be very surprised by this album! But before that, Neneh was in a raucous band Rip Rig + Panic which might give you more of a clue as to where this one is...
Published on 5 July 2012 by Bruce

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8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just too avant-garde pour moi!
Ok - let me clear about this...I knew this wasn't the pop/rock Neneh Cherry when I bought this. And I own roughly 1000 jazz recordings so nothing to shock my ears here. Still - this just wasn't very...pleasant. Too free-form for me & I think a great waste of the lady's vocal talents. As an ode to her late, great (& sometimes avant-garde) dad maybe it works. I'm just...
Published 24 months ago by calmnsense


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Jazz meets Melody?, 5 July 2012
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
This is a very interesting collaboration between Neneh Cherry and a Scandinavian Free Jazz trio called the Thing.

Those who have only heard the pop/rap/R&B singles of the Raw Like Sushi era - are going to be very surprised by this album! But before that, Neneh was in a raucous band Rip Rig + Panic which might give you more of a clue as to where this one is going.

Also, Neneh's stepfather was Don Cherry, who with Ornette Coleman was at the forefront of Free Jazz in the 1960s. So this album has a track written by each. Coleman's "What Reason could I give" and Don Cherry's "Golden Heart".

So in a way, although this album is a cohesive artistic statement made by 4 musicians - it is also like a summary of Neneh Cherry's life and influences. These lie between Punk, Rap and Free Jazz - so we have songs from the aforementioned Jazz artists, but uniquely they sit alongside songs by Iggy Pop, Suicide and one from Madvillainy [Explicit]!

However, none of this explains how the album sounds. The Thing are a trio of Sax, Double Bass and Drums - so we have no keyboards or guitars - no instruments providing chords (apart from some brief vibes on one track). The main thrust of the the sound therefore is Ingebrigt Haker Flaten's Double Bass - which is very well-recorded and you can really hear every nuance, every creak and rattle. Bass provides lots of repetitive hooks, which can be quite funky - but are usually dark and moody.

Drums add colour and massive noise! At times it sounds like an avalanche of sound from Paal Nilssen-Love - it is almost overwhelming in its intensity - play the CD loud and it is like an earthquake! Mats Gustaffson mostly adds Saxes Tenor/Baritone and sometimes doubles the bass riff - which makes for a very dark and sparse sound - little to get in the way of the vocals. At other times he simply goes mad with the most dissonant and strangled sounds you can possibly get out of a Sax - when this happens, you can't believe that just 3 people with acoustic instruments are making so much noise!

But there are also moments of supreme beauty here - Neneh Cherry adds lovely melodies to every track and the combination of an acoustic trio allows her voice to really stand alone and be heard. Mostly when it gets into Free Jazz blowing, she stands aside and lets the band just go. But the best moments are when she holds her own with the band and there are some lovely moments when it is just Double Bass and voice together - where each compliments the other perfectly.

I think in fact that most people will be surprised by this album in some way and it may not be completely satisfying for anybody - but it is certainly worth a listen, for those with adventurous ears. Depending on your tastes, you might find youself turning it down or up in parts - the dynamic range is huge - but it all adds to the unique album this is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Jazz Album, 23 Oct 2012
By 
S. Richards (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
Terrific modern jazz album from Neneh Cherry and The Thing In the mould of The Art Ensemble of Chicago's Les Stances a Sophie" or Archie Shepp's "Blase". Exciting sounds from the Thing with wonderful vocals from the inimitable Neneh. i see some wise person has at last released the Rip, Rig and Panic albums as MP3's - if you like this check that out too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neneh Cherry's most interesting work to date, 26 July 2012
By 
Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
The last time we heard from Neneh Cherry, it was back in 1996 with her fantastic album "Man" that spawned the hit single "Woman" and included her famous duet with Youssou N'Dour, "7 Seconds". A whopping 16 years later, and after a few albums released with her group Cirkus, Neneh finally returns with "The Cherry Thing", her fourth studio album and first with an experimental Jazz group called The Thing. I can safely say that this album is her most experimental to date as the blend of Hip-Hop style vocals and Jazz influenced arrangements is so unique and inspirational. Therefore, this fabulous collaboration should most certainly not go unnoticed.

The opener "Cashback" has elements of Funk, Trip-Hop and Hip-Hop blended with Jazz instrumentation which makes it a very interesting and creative song. "Dream Baby Dream" is just as intriguing and original, with a chaotic and experimental feel to it that grows as the song progresses. "Too Tough To Die" has a menacing Rock inspired bass, some wonderful Jazz influenced arrangements and some punchy vocals from Neneh making it the first highlight of this album. The curiously addictive "Sudden Moment" is a strange song with Funk influences and a bizarre melody which lends itself to improvisation. The second highlight is "Accordion", a dark Trip-Hop influenced creation with those superb vocals from Neneh and a great rap section that flows so well with the experimental Jazz chaos embrassing it. "Golden Heart" is a much softer track written by Neneh's father Don Cherry and has a soothing melody. The soulful and sombre third highlight "Dirt" has a punchy Rock influenced melody with more great vocals and arrangements. The most bizarre song is left until last as "What Reason Could I Give" has a drunkard feel to the vocals and melody which make it sound as if it is played in slow motion with deep noises and a scattered drum beat - very different and imaginative.

With "The Cherry Thing", Neneh Cherry and The Thing are pushing the barriers of music which is so refresing and exciting in a world where commercial music and image reign. This album is proof that there are still new combinations of sounds and genres that can work and that originality still exists. Neneh Cherry is back and I hope she will stay with us for much longer this time as she has been greatly missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neneh's back from working and making music again!, 26 Oct 2013
By 
C. Murrell "direct current" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
Delighted that Neneh fulfilled her aim of caring for her family personally and financially by making a living out of the music industry all those years. Also delighted that she warned us before doing that. There were some little gems on the way. However, could have done with a warning that you're back Neneh because I nearly missed out on this awesome album of meaningful engaging musical joy. It feels as though it follows on from Rip Rig + Panic, informed by CirKus, leaping forwards and backwards simultaneously. Thank You and Big Respect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True jazz, 29 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. Rupert A. Oldham (Vietnam) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
True jazz. Really, really good album, surprisingly good. Deep, dark jarring beats and searching, imaginative lyrics. I absolutely love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Jazz, Neneh Cherry, 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
And accessible. You can hear how much they enjoyed making this. It will surprise you. You will love it. Go for it,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Cherry Pie., 22 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
This is a gutsy, coarse and loud (for the most part) post jazz-rock set full of fire and passion, with the edginess of a spirit cutting close to the human psyche's darker side. They were featured in a gig on Jazz on 3 (bbc radio 3) and the elements of the ragged amp sound just added more grit to their pungent overtones. If you are looking for more than the usual jazz genre this is well worth a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars neneh's back to jazz-punk, 24 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Incredible mix with Neneh Cherry & the new blood of jazz-punk. Raw & direct music for our stomach. Really brand new jazz.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
very good
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8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just too avant-garde pour moi!, 30 Aug 2012
By 
calmnsense (Oregon & London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cherry Thing (Audio CD)
Ok - let me clear about this...I knew this wasn't the pop/rock Neneh Cherry when I bought this. And I own roughly 1000 jazz recordings so nothing to shock my ears here. Still - this just wasn't very...pleasant. Too free-form for me & I think a great waste of the lady's vocal talents. As an ode to her late, great (& sometimes avant-garde) dad maybe it works. I'm just hoping that it helped Neneh get this "out of her system". If you like melodies or any semblance of traditional song structure, avoid.
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