For the past 18 years Neneh Cherry’s solo absence from the music industry has been a choice.
You can hear RocketNumberNine’s distinguished drums and snares, under Kieran Hebden’s artistic direction. At times the music seems completely out of tune and the intentionally unpolished record under the hands of an electronic music mastermind like Four Tet, gives Blank Project a rough edge and unconventional character.
What’s most admirable about Neneh’s latest effort is that she effortlessly remains current and edgy as ever, something most artists fail dramatically to achieve over the passing of long periods. Highlights of the album include the self-titled song “Blank Project”, the softest spot of the album “422” and the pure WEEKID track “Cynical”. A mixture of violent music arrangements and raw aesthetic made to fit its performers grandiose persona.
She’s back, alive and kicking! – Ioannis D. for The Week ID
“I don’t think it’s about reinvention, but I think it’s about a fresh start”, these words from an interview Neneh Cherry recently did could be used as keys to open her new album ‘Blank Project’. Her first solo album since 1996 is a personal therapeutic journey post-difficult times. Kieran Hebden is on the production side and that means extreme finesse in manipulating beats, often scarce, with those intimate lyrics, then flirting them with heavy synth lines and again vacuum them over. Duo RocketNumberNine complete the essence for this fearless album. The fact that these 10 tracks were created in 5 days recording and mixing adds to that raw, at times essentially imperfect, low-key feeling.
It’s not jazz, it’s not rap, it’s not punk, it’s not electronic and it’s all of them. It’s also more conventional pop like when Neneh duets with Swedish singer Robyn.
It’s her show, a strong woman’s show. – Nico De Ceglia
Should I had missed Neneh Cherry’s reference on theWeekID, I would probably still be unknowledgeable of her musical existence. Perhaps because of my own personal evasive attitude to the rapping factor or just due to the fact that she hadn’t released a solo album for the past 18 years. This changed with the Blank Project.
I wont say that the album left me in awe. It didn’t.
But the sheer collaboration of sounds you wouldn’t expect to be combined in a full project is enough to keep me interested. Raw tribal drums followed by electro and techno loops and an unconventional voice that can effortlessly go “Kellis meets Roisin Murphy”, however odd this sounds.
Highlights of the album: The fierce “Blank Project”, the personal and passive aggressive “422” and a catchy “Out of the Black” feat. Robyn. – Aris Z.