Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Neneh Cherry

  • Raw Like Sushi [Virgin, 1989] A-
  • Homebrew [Virgin, 1992] B+
  • Blank Project [Smalltown Supersound, 2014] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Raw Like Sushi [Virgin, 1989]
Daughter of a Swedish artist and an African percussionist, stepdaughter of Don Cherry and the London scene, she's a twenty-four-year bohemian, a socially responsible hedonist, a sexy two-time mom--and a relief from bimbo macho and exchangeable female dance phenoms. Slogan: "I know where I'm goin' and where I'm comin' from." Alternative: "If you're gonna do it, you've got to do it right." And oh yeah: "I came already." The music doesn't quite rock one's house. But it's far more beatwise than the Brit norm, and she can sing/talk that song/rap. Bohos who sell--the most interesting kind. A-

Homebrew [Virgin, 1992]
She's marked out a meaningful piece of turf: sophisticated secondhand homegirl, personally decent and artistically accessible, a friend to rely on. But where the lithe beats and uncorny sonics flesh out the concept and jolt every track, the lyrics settle for honest. "The choice is mine/With my ordinary joy and pain inside" is up toward the high end, with "Money talks love is for real" and "How long can we be this way" too typical. Personal to Yo Yo: consider a career in rhyme medicine. B+

Blank Project [Smalltown Supersound, 2014]
Long-ago hipster-funk ingenue reclaims her avant-garde roots ("Out of the Black," "Spit Three Times") *