Neneh Cherry first made mainstream waves in the 80s and 90s with cross-genre smash-hits such as ‘Buffalo Stance’ from award-winning debut ‘Raw Like Sushi’. In the decades since, Cherry’s diverse projects and collaborations have continued to surprise and delight.
Now the multi-faceted agent of cool is back with a fifth solo album, ‘Broken Politics’. It’s ostensibly more restrained than preceding ‘Blank Project’ from 2014 yet holds a subtle potency. Continuing the artist’s collaboration with Four Tet, and longtime writing partner Cameron McVey, its stripped back sonics zero in on Cherry’s beautifully clear, distinctive vocals that slip periodically into spoken word as they wrap around rich and poignant lyrics.
Her social commentary emerges from a deeply personal perspective, at no point despondent but often melancholic and at times defiantly direct. ‘Fallen Leaves’ pleads: “Just because I’m down/Don’t step all over me.” Trip-hoppy, dub-backed ‘Kong’ protests the refugee crisis, while sinister-edged single ‘Shotgun Shack’ takes on gun violence.
A slow burn of an album, ‘Broken Politics’ artfully cuts through a turbulent, noisy world.
Dig This? Dig Deeper! Four Tet, Massive Attack, Portishead
Words: Sarah Bradbury
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