Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics

Neneh Cherry's fifth studio album, Broken Politics may not always seem like an urgent inquisition into our times, but it may encourage a sense of reflection

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 15 Oct 2018
  • Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
Album title: Broken Politics
Artist: Neneh Cherry
Label: Smalltown Supersound
Release date: 19 Oct

There have been many times over the past few years where politics could be described as “broken”. Neneh Cherry’s fifth album Broken Politics harnesses the feelings of melancholy and vitriol often generated by these turbulent times. But, although she teams up once again with producer Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet), it’s a record that takes a more minimal, searching direction compared to the relative bombast of 2014’s Blank Project.

Nothing quite signifies this reflective tone more than the naturalistic interludes of Poem Daddy and Cheap Breakfast Special, but other times societal strife comes to the forefront. Kong, produced alongside Massive Attack’s 3D and bearing many hallmarks of the trip-hop icons, was inspired by perceptions of the situation in Calais refugee camps, while Shot Gun Shack tackles issues surrounding gun violence through a somewhat sinister vibe beneath its watery chimes. Cherry’s almost whispered vocals glide over marching beats on Faster Than the Truth, which examines misinformation spreading.

Sometimes though the more minimal vibe that runs across Broken Politics feels a bit too languid and relaxed. Tracks can float by too easily, while the clattering air horns and steel drums of Natural Skin Deep feel out of place on an otherwise low-key album. Broken Politics may not always seem like an urgent inquisition into our times, but it may encourage a sense of reflection.

Listen to: Kong, Faster Than the Truth

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