Neneh Cherry on Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2018

Neneh Cherry on Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2018

What a welcome surprise that this decade may wind up containing Neneh Cherry’s most sustained, rewarding creative peak. No disrespect to her 1989 breakthrough, Raw Like Sushi; it’s just math, as she’s released two strong solo albums, one vibrant jazz project, and a sizzling remix collection since 2010. Broken Politics reunites her with producer Four Tet, whom she paired with on 2014’s Blank Project, but they don’t repeat their steps; while that first collaboration favored starkly thumping electronic compositions, Broken Politics pursues a supple variety.

That is the case even when it stomps—as on the uptempo highlight “Natural Skin Deep,” which offers a battery of whirling samples, metallic percussion elements, sirens, and even a saxophone break. A similar timbral sensitivity carries over to the more reflective pieces. On “Synchronised Devotion,” Cherry sings beautifully of “living in the slow jam” as a political stance—one that emphasizes the connection that remains possible inside a song while the broader culture is crumbling. –Seth Colter Walls

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