Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Neneh Cherry ft. Robyn – Out of the Black

“Buffalo Stance” peaked in 1988; “Show Me Love” peaked in 1997…


Alfred Soto: Twenty-five years after “Buffalo Stance,” Cherry still walks the streets minding her own business, greeting the urban grind. If her white girl partner’s intrinsic anxiety doesn’t gel with Cherry’s quietude, then call Robyn more urban clatter at most, part of a fecund mix in which bass synth, drums, and organ adduce Cherry’s boho ambitions and her faith in sounds.

Iain Mew: The red and black language of financial statements, the cutbacks and wolf packs all point towards some kind of commentary on the financial crisis, but a clear narrative doesn’t emerge. The split between the two voices confuses if anything. Still, “these are the facts/this is the news/we just want you to want it too” comes with enough silky menace to thrill, even before the cold electronic arpeggios pound that menace home.

Anthony Easton: All of this — the guttural synths, that basic percussion, the loping spoke-sung verses, how the sinuous electronics provide tension without competing against each other, that fantastic line about wolves, how it refutes both minimal and maximal — leads me to think that Robyn might be the brightest person working in pop, and Cherry might be right behind.  

Jer Fairall: A nimble vocalist going all the way back to “Buffalo Stance” (and particularly on the eternally underrated “Move With Me”), Cherry inhabits her current minimalist jazz-funk settings with assured coolness and authoritative ease. Robyn is less comfortable here, her usual effervescence restrained and sounding all the more awkward for it.

Brad Shoup: So it’s like Wire on the refrain, and like Wire trying to rap on the verses. For the whole family at Christmas. 

Cédric Le Merrer: I really love everyone involved in this, but they clearly have no idea how to work together. Kieran Hebden’s idea of pop songcraft is creating a contrast between a farting bass on the verses and glass harmonica on the chorus, and I guess it could have worked as an instrumental. The girls have no idea how to ride the beat on the verses, and they sound like they’re trying to sing in a rarefied atmosphere. None of these sounds make any kind of musical sense to me. I’m perplexed.

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5 Responses to “Neneh Cherry ft. Robyn – Out of the Black”

  1. I listened to this for a straight half-hour last night, bummed out i couldn’t slap a great big 8 on it

  2. And for the sake of being a self-publicist, here’s an interview i did with Neneh Cherry: http://thump.vice.com/en_uk/words/neneh-cherry-interview-cool-album-four-tet

  3. This is great and (al)most important of all – surprising. I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t this. Cosign with Daniel, I rocked this hard last night too but just… didnt.

  4. It’s more than just fine, wish it was a little better even, but anything that causes people to rediscover the original queen of Boho cool works fine for me.

    Now do yourselves a favor and pick up the album, which is full of good stuff……

  5. Nice interview, btw Daniel.