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neneh cherry & the thing - The Cherry Thing (Original Album)
Here's something we didn't see coming... a collaboration between Scandinavian jazz rock pranksters The Thing and Swedish pop singer Neneh Cherry? Well it's happened, and while there's some kind of Zen involved with drawing lines between Don Cherry's stepdaughter and a band named after a Don Cherry tune, it's still a confusing proposition. Thankfully within the first few moments of opener 'Cashback' any reservations are kicked under the rug as Cherry's inimitable tones lace Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love's electrifying free jazz. The song choices are just as nail-biting as we hear the troupe crashing their way through Suicide's 'Dream Baby Dream' and The Stooges 'Dirt', but the real lightbulb moment arrives with the unexpected cover of MF Doom's 'Accordion'. Cherry's rap/singing almost reminds me of Martina Toppley Bird's performance of Public Enemy's 'Black Steel', yet the choppy, minimal backdrop is far from trip hop. More than just an experiment 'The Cherry Thing' should have fans of jazz, rock and everything in-between shaking their heads for some time, and that's a very good thing indeed.