Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Douglas Wolk schools me on Neneh Cherry

I need to start reading Douglas Wolk's Missed Connections columns every week.  Stream of consciousness reviewing is so much more fun (and much less likely to give you a headache trying to parse it) when you can tap into the author's thoughts via all the relevant audio/video links.  Imagine that, you can listen to the songs rather than try to wrap your head around the author's purple prose attempts to explain what they sound like.  And the author doesn't have to be high to write the review.  He or she can relax and just try to make sense!

Wolk's latest column is nominally a review of the new Neneh Cherry and The Thing album, but it soon finds itself looking back at Cherry's 80's career before settling into a discussion of Falklands War protest songs.  The album, entitled "That Cherry Thing", seems to have taken just about everyone by surprise.  Nobody knew it was coming, and therefore nobody was expecting to have their minds blown by a Neneh Cherry free jazz covers album, which makes it all the more surprising and wonderful when the album turns out to be great.  Wolk highlights the Cherry/Thing version of Madvillian's "Accordion", but their cover of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" is even better.  

Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" is one of my all time favourite songs, but I had no idea it was based on Morgan McVey's "Looking Good Diving".  Cherry even appears in the (extremely cheesy, but as Wolk points out, very much of it's time) video, miming playing lead guitar in a song that doesn't feature any lead guitar (that's the 80's for you).  But the B-side to that single, "Looking Good Diving with the Wild Bunch" is practically a demo version of "Buffalo Stance", with Cherry on lead vocals.  Amazing!

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