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Cherry Thing

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Vinyl, July 24, 2012
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Smalltown Supersound
  • ASIN: B007NWCY8Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Vinyl LP pressing of this 2012 collaboration. The Thing took their name from a piece by Don Cherry: when they first got together it was to play his music. So it does make sense that they should eventually team up with Don Cherry's daughter, Neneh. Meeting in London in the fall of 2010 to record, it clicked right away as they all shared an open, free approach to the music. The high energy of The Thing's playing found a fitting counterpart in Neneh's intense style. Includes covers of songs from Suicide, The Stooges, Ornette Coleman, MF Doom, Martina Topley-Bird and, of course, Don Cherry.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jason Stein VINE VOICE on July 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Neneh Cherry is unfortunately remembered for her 1989 hit "Buffalo Stance", which was and still is a great song melding hip-hop, rap and snyth/dance music into a memorable five and a half minutes. The rest of her debut solo album was equally as good, though nothing on it surpassed the success of "Buffalo Stance". In 1992, almost no one paid any attention to what is arguably her best effort, "Homebrew". There was some airplay given to "Buddy X", but not much. By the time her third effort was released, 1996's "Man", it received absolute no attention or promotion in the U.S. And that was that. A promising career cut short.

Until now. Sure, Cherry was a part of CirKus, and has appeared on both of their albums, but her presence is sidelined. Thus, "The Cherry Thing" is her first album in 16 years that actually features her vocals front and center. It's nice to have her back.

This time around, she joins Norwegian/Swedish jazz trio, The Thing, who have been making records since 2000. I was not familiar with them. Naturally, Cherry has created a jazz album, but of the 8 tracks there are 2 originals and 6 cover songs. The six cover songs are as follows: "Dream Baby Dream" by Suicide, from their 1980 self-titled album, "Too Tough To Die" by Martina Topley-Bird, from her debut 2003 album "Quixotic/Anything", "Accordian" by Madvillain, from their 2004 debut album "Madvillainy", "Golden Heart" by Don Cherry, from his 1966 album "Complete Communion", "Dirt" by The Stooges, from their sophomore 1970 album "Fun House", and "What Reason Could I Give" by Ornette Coleman, from his 1972 album "Science Fiction". Now what I love about these 6 tracks is that I was not at all familiar with them. Too many times cover albums turn into cliche recycling of the same old songs. Not here.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pencil Name on July 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first heard of this record, but it works in every way. The original Cashback is exhilarating, and Cherry's cover of Accordion is flawless as she croons, raps, hisses and spits out MF Doom's complex verses. She makes the song completely her own without taking anything away from the brilliant original. Too Tough To Die sounds punk, jazz and trip hop all at the same time. Every track has its own unique reward.

This album is quite the contradiction, but it is both deeply personal and wildly original. That's an amazing accomplishment for a covers album.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mariah L Jan on June 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The album features vocalist and songwriter Neneh Cherry fronting the brilliant, provocative Scandinavian the Thing, whose members are saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.
The latter are a diverse vanguard jazz group whose name comes from a tune by Don Cherry; their founding mission was to play his music.
They've since expanded to cover rock tunes and play their own compositions.
For those who remember only Cherry's pop hits, this may seem a radical departure, but it's actually a return of sorts.
She began her career in the 1980s as a teen vocalist in post-punk outfits Rip Rig & Panic and Float Up CP; both melded free jazz and angular funk.
She is a natural collaborator -- she's worked with Pulp, Tricky, the The, and Gorillaz.
There are two originals here. Cherry's confrontational love song "Cashback" opens a set that melds syncopated, acoustic jazz funk and post-millennial soul.
Gustafsson's jazz tune "Sudden Moment" features wonderful twinned phrasing by the saxophonist and Cherry before opening into an improvisational sprawl.
Of the covers, the nearly nine-minute version of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" puts Bruce Springsteen's contrived version to shame. In the Cherry Thing's embrace, it is no less ethereal than the original, but far more sinister: Cherry's honeyed croon keeps the beautiful melodic core intact, even as she becomes ever more insistent, showing her dominant authority. Her accompanists build a gorgeous wall of atmospheric tension behind her.
Martina Topley-Bird's "Too Tough to Die" begins sparsely and slowly before Cherry and Gustafsson enter and begin pushing, charging at the lyric edges.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on April 3, 2013
Format: Audio CD
On first listen, my reaction was "What the hell is this?!" On the 10th or so listen, I'm filled with a number of profound (to me, anyway) questions:

1. Free jazz players are undoubtedly better musicians than punk rockers. But are they more anarchical?

2. What if Boots Randolph had never heard John Coltrane? What would have happened to the history of contemporary western music?

3. Why do free jazz saxophonists sound like they are two seconds away from a fatal car crash? I remember the movie "Crash" from ~1995 with James Spader, with people who got sexually charged up by watching car crashes. Would it be better if free jazz saxophonists sounded like they are two seconds away from an orgasm?

4. If you dream that your house is imploding at the joists, does that mean your sense of security is shot to hell? Or does it mean that you live under a Florida sinkhole?

5. If you free your mind, will your @$$ necessarily follow? Or is this yet another counter-cultural saying from the '60's that has been coopted by the current establishment? And if the latter, did that happen as early as the '70's?

6. If you wish to reach deep as you can into your psyche and create the most profound art you can, do you need to go to Scandinavia to get it done? Will Paris do? Or is that too cliche?

7. Should c.d.'s like this have liner notes? Or should the listeners do D.I.Y. liner notes? And if the latter, what if the notes are lies?

8. I remember once a critic asked Captain Beefheart to explain his latest album ("Lick My Decals Off, Baby," if I recall). Mr. Van Vliet told the critic to run his vacuum cleaner over and over his living room carpet, and he'd get it , eventually. Is it time for me to upgrade to a Dyson?

9. Wasn't the point of this c.d. to get someone to write a review like this? RC
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