The Cherry Thing cover

The Cherry Thing

Released

Is there anything better in this world than a record you could never, ever have predicted arriving and turning out to make total, instant sense? Saxophonist Mats Gustafsson‘s Norwegian / Swedish trio The Thing already had a sound well established with their free jazz / garage rock fusion — but the addition of Neneh Cherry in 2012 sent it into the realm of the sublime. Cherry had been more or less away from the music industry for some 16 years: she had released a couple of extremely low-key albums as CirKus with her husband Cameron McVey in the late 00s, but this was the first thing she put her name on the front of since 1996’s Man. And the freedom of the noise kicked up by The Thing was clearly the kickstart she needed. Just the list of artists covered — MF DOOM, Suicide, The Stooges, Martina Topley Bird — looks like a statement of intent, and Cherry gets to the heart of every song, going at it with real abandon but being utterly commanding at the same time. It rocks hard, it’s pumped full of raw funk, but it also has the sidereal sound of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” sitting at the heart of it. A classic for the ages, and also the springboard that launched the prolific second act of Cherry’s career. Came with kick-ass remixes too!

Joe Muggs

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