Neneh Cherry & the Thing

The Cherry Thing

By Alan RantaIn one corner sits Neneh Cherry, a Swedish-born singer with a penchant for hip-hop who refused to be pigeonholed in the wake of the instant fame she gained with 1988 hit "Buffalo Stance," subsequently collaborating and experimenting in any direction her muse led. In the other corner are Scandinavian trio the Thing, noted for absorbing the work of disparate popular and underground worldly influences into their distinctive, convention-defying free-jazz repertoire. Together, they tackle such diverse subject matter as infamous hip-hop duo Madvillain, trip-hop muse Martina Topley-Bird, proto-punkers the Stooges and legendary cornetist Don Cherry (who happens to be Neneh's stepfather, as well as the writer of the Thing's namesake song). Through the trio's consistent saxophone timbres, double bass and drums, channelled through off-kilter arrangements, grounded by Neneh's commanding voice, this collaboration forges within The Cherry Thing a peculiar character that doesn't visit other worlds but brings everyone to theirs. This thing may not have a commercial sound, but it is unequivocally memorable.
(Smalltown Supersound)
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