Friday, September 24, 2010

Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi


I have to be very careful here.  Neneh is one of the very few artists Mine loves so much, any bad-mouthing is bound to be met with swift and ultra-violent retribution.  So...

I guess I can say Raw Like Sushi is alright.  I mean, Buffalo Stance is a pretty good song, even if the sounds are very dated.  And there is no doubting her ability to both rap and sing.  Her work with The Gorillaz on their track Kids With Guns is one of the highlights of their second album, Demon Days.

She also is truly a child of the world; her biological father was from Sierra Leone while her mother is Swedish.  Her step-father is Don Cherry, the American-born jazz man.  And she has that kind of earth-mother quality which is just beautiful.

Unfortunately, most of this album is just too 80s dance sounding for me to have any real appreciation of it.  But at least I didn't say it was shit, now did I? (Mine says: Greater love hath no man...)



In the (very) early 90s I was living in an inner-city suburb with its associated high crime rate.  One day I came home and tried to put my key in the door, only for it to fall inwards, revealing the fact that most of my valued possessions were gone.  I had no insurance (never again) and had to spend the next few months re-buying the most vital parts of my CD collection (they ignored the vinyl, much as they'd ignore the CDs these days!)

Raw Like Sushi was the very first CD I re-bought.  Not just because it's a good album, and it is, but because I really needed me some high-end girl power to get through that time.  There are some killer remixes on here, in fact I prefer the alternate mix of Heart to the original.  It's one of the first rap albums I bought, and helps me remember I really prefer the girly rappers.  At least they can sing worth a damn.

Nowadays I look at this and remember just how young I was then, even though I was convinced I was all grown up and sophisticated.  Much as Neneh would, I suppose.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP give me a motherfuckin' break beat!

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  1. I was a late comer to the world of digital and didn’t buy a CD player until 1989 (too much vested interest in vinyl). At the time, I forced myself to buy 3 CDs that I didn’t really want to so that I had something to play on it. The next CD I bought was this. And boy did I think I was the bees’ knees! Buying new fangled CDs AND dipping my toes into the thing called hip-hop.

    Actually, at the time I had a real soft spot for Neneh Cherry and really liked this stuff. Now, it sounds a bit dated and tired. Nevertheless, I would still put ‘Buffalo Stance’ and ‘Manchild’ on my iPod playlist as they are fab tunes. The rest once sounded exhilaratingly rough around the edges but now sounds a bit unsophisticated – I have to be in the right mood.

    I suppose it’s one of those albums that served its purpose at the time for me but hasn’t really travelled well. I look back on it with affection.

  2. Hey MO, have you heard her contribution to Gorillaz? It really is a great track and we're sure you'd enjoy it.


  3. It's funny you mention Don Cherry... because growing up close as close to Canada as I did I had a lot of exposure to former NHL Coach, Don Cherry. The former hockey coach is now known for spouting his opinions between periods of hockey games while wearing obnoxiously loud plaid suits. He's a Canadian icon. Thus he's quite different than Neneh Cherry's step-dad of the same name.

    As for Neneh Cherry-- while I did go through a rap phase in my early teens (in the late 80s and early 90s when I was about 12-14 years old) the only female rappers I ever enjoyed enough to spend money on were Oaktown's 3-5-7. The only rap I still listen to-- the Beastie Boys and ocassionally some Ice-T for old time's sake.

  4. I've heard of Don Cherry, the hockey coach. In fact, at first I thought he was Neneh's step-father. But research proved me wrong.

    As far as hip hop and rap goes, I too am a Beasties fan. I also really like The Roots but mostly, the genre is full of misogynistic posers who simply annoy me.


  5. The thing I like about some of the earlier rap was rather than glamorize the "gangsta" lifestyle it laid it bare and eithe satirized it or exposed the reality of it. Ice-T's High Rollers and Drama off his Power album are both scathing indictments of that lifestyle.

    But Ice-T learned he could make more money as an actor than a rapper and is now a regular on one of those Law and Order shows playing a cop.

  6. Yeah, I feel pretty much the same way about a lot of rap. Forgot to mention, however, my love of Run DMC and a few of the earlier pioneers.

    As you noted, though, the ego-driven violence and 'gansta' and 'bling' lifestyle, coupled with their seeming inability to speak properly (witness words such as 'ima', 'aiight', 'dat', 'fo sho') just pissed me right off.