March 27, 2022

Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi (1989)

*U.K. pressing. 
Contains 14 tracks total.
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Freestyle, R&B 
Label Number: CIRCD 8

© 1989 Circa
Neneh Cherry's actions throughout the early to mid-'80s indicated boundless creative energy and an instinct to mix it up. She wasn't yet out of her teens by the time she had performed and/or recorded with stepfather Don Cherry and younger mavericks Rip Rig + Panicthe Slits, and Vivien Goldman, and had spun early rap records on pirate radio. A little later, in 1987, she seized the mike on a version of Morgan/McVey's "Looking Good Diving." The next year, the track was revamped into Cherry's first solo power move, aided by Bomb the Bass' vibrating and colorful mix of sampled, scratched, played, and programmed sounds dropped with astonishing precision. At once a personal manifesto and celebration and critique of city-street peacocking -- a hip-hop quotable is in every rhyme and interjection -- "Buffalo Stance" entered the U.K. chart in December 1988 and went supernova on a worldwide scale early the following year. The full scope of Cherry's vision was shown almost smack in the middle of 1989 with Raw Like Sushi. With songwriting partner and fellow arranger/producer Cameron "Booga Bear" McVey at her side, Cherry in sly, knowing fashion conducts a combined gender studies and sociology course doubling as a cosmopolitan pop triumph. Switching with masterful ease between assured singing and rapping -- no features necessary -- Cherry covers matters ranging from the consequences of lust to the devaluation of children. More often, she examines from multiple perspectives the ways in which men and women exploit one another, softening each blow with either a degree of benevolence or whatcha-gonna-do-about-it humor. Among the other accomplices are Will MaloneNellee Hooper, and Jonny Dollar, as well as Mushroom and 3D of Massive Attack, a crew who altogether fill the hip-hop-minded LP with elements of go-go, Latin freestyle, and new jack swing, and foreshadow what was later termed trip-hop. Not easily classifiable as a whole, Raw Like Sushi is one of the most soulful and "hip-hop" albums considered neither R&B nor rap.

tags: neneh cherry, raw like sushi, 1989, flac,


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