Blank Project is the fourth studio album by Neneh Cherry, released by Smalltown Supersound on February 25, 2014. The record is Cherry's first album of solo music in 18 years. It was recorded and mixed over a 5-day period in Woodstock, NY. It was produced by Four Tet's Kieran Hebden and features a guest appearance by Robyn. The record also includes work with prior collaborators, synth/drum duo RocketNumberNine. Critical reviews of the album were very positive.
Cherry wrote the material as a way to mourn for her mother, who died in 2009. The record is a departure from her previous work, consisting of a more sparse sound, with loose drums and a few synthesizers as the only accompaniment to her voice. RocketNumberNine provides industrial beats.
Blank Project received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 82, based on 36 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".NPR calls the work "stark and urgent, almost entirely percussive. Her lyrics are less rebel treatises than koans or ruminations."SPIN says it is "a stark, bracing, and emotionally vulnerable album that straddles the jazz, pop, and electronic worlds rather brilliantly."The Guardian calls it "a bold and adventurous album".
The Arts Desk describes the record: "High on rhythms and percussion and low on conventional melodies, it certainly isn’t easy listening but is frequently bold and challenging, with harsh electronica providing the only accompaniment to Neneh’s warm vocals."The Skinny calls Blank Project a "triumph."
Electronic Beats says: "Blank Project is an upturned bag on a table, pouring out its contents for anyone to sort through: chewed up emotions, snotty little insecurities and the kind of anxiety that’ll etch red marks into the skin if you carry it around too long."