Broken Politics

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Broken Politics
NCherry BPolitics.jpg
Studio album by
Released19 October 2018 (2018-10-19)
Studio
GenreTrip hop
Length46:01
LabelSmalltown Supersound
ProducerKieran Hebden
Neneh Cherry chronology
Blank Project
(2014)
Broken Politics
(2018)

Broken Politics is the fifth solo album by singer Neneh Cherry, and her second to be produced by Four Tet.[1] The album was released on 19 October 2018, and has been called "quieter and more reflective" than its predecessor Blank Project.[1] The lead single, "Kong", was released two months earlier,[1] and "Shot Gun Shack" was released as the second single.[2]

Background[edit]

Broken Politics was recorded at Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, which was once used by Cherry's stepfather, jazz musician Don Cherry, and makes use of samples from the recordings of Ornette Coleman, a longtime collaborator of the elder Cherry.[3] The studio was founded by another collaborator of the elder Cherry, Karl Berger, who contributed to the album; Neneh Cherry's longtime partner Cameron McVey also made many contributions.[4]

Some of the album's lyrics were inspired by Cherry's recent sojourn in Sierra Leone, where she arranged the funeral of her biological father, musician Ahmadu Jah, in his home village.[5] The album also addresses the current political situation in 2018. with Cherry stating, "It’s difficult. It’s a quite dark time. It’s hard to not draw from the things that are happening, but even though I feel anger, sorrow, and sadness, I’m also compelled to have some positivity. It’s important to react back in the other direction."[5] In another interview, Cherry further described the album's theme: "I like writing from a personal perspective, and the time we live in is so much about finding your own voice. People have been left feeling misheard, misunderstood, and disillusioned. What the fuck can I do? Maybe politics starts in your bedroom, or your house — a form of activism, and a responsibility. The album is about all of those things: feeling broken, disappointed, and sad, but having perseverance. It’s a fight against the extinction of free thought and spirit."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic81/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
Clash8/10[7]
Exclaim!8/10[8]
The Guardian5/5 stars[9]
NME3/5 stars[10]
The Observer3/5 stars[11]
Pitchfork7.3/10[12]
Q4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[14]
Uncut8/10[15]

At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 81 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[6] AllMusic described the album as "deeply meditative, often implying or directly expressing sorrow regarding planetary afflictions rooted in fear," while maintaining Cherry's well-known "defiant streak."[3] Music magazine The Muse called the album "perhaps [Cherry's] strongest and most sophisticated — every bit as vivid, sensitive, and forward-thinking as Joni Mitchell was in the mid-’70s, "and concluded, "Broken Politics quietly expands the concept of what a singer-songwriter album looks like in 2018."[5] Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review, stating "Neneh Cherry has always bent styles to serve her own ends. She’s still doing it on Broken Politics, which folds a career’s worth of musical obsessions into a single set. She’s also speaking her mind, per usual, addressing our global shitshow not with histrionics, but with heartfelt, clear-eyed ruminations, sorrow, playfulness and resolve."[14] Laura Snapes of The Guardian commented, "Big issues litter Broken Politics... In that beautifully snagged raw-silk voice, she sings about abortion, refugees, gun violence and the ease with which conspiracy calcifies into assumed fact these days. But it never feels heavy-handed."[9]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Fallen Leaves"3:20
2."Kong"
4:25
3."Poem Daddy"Suliaman El Hadi0:49
4."Synchronized Devotion"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • McVey
4:08
5."Deep Vein Thrombosis"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • McVey
  • John Tonks
4:32
6."Faster Than the Truth"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • McVey
  • Benjamin Page
3:47
7."Natural Skin Deep"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • Simm
  • McVey
4:41
8."Shot Gun Shack"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • McVey
3:58
9."Black Monday"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • Simm
  • McVey
4:42
10."Cheap Breakfast Special"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • McVey
1:09
11."Slow Release"
5:42
12."Soldier"
  • Cherry
  • Hebden
  • McVey
  • Simm
4:55
Total length:46:01

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[16] 46
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[17] 87
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[18] 155
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 55
Scottish Albums (OCC)[20] 36
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 52
UK Albums (OCC)[22] 76

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bruce, Henry (30 August 2018). "Neneh Cherry returns with Four Tet-produced LP Broken Politics". Fact. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  2. ^ Castro-Cota, Isabella (19 October 2018). "Stream Neneh Cherry's New Album Broken Politics". Spin. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Neneh Cherry: Broken Politics". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b Schatz, Lake (30 August 2018). "Neneh Cherry Announces New Album, Broken Politics, Shares "Shot Gun Shack": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Juzwiak, Rich (19 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry's Unending Quest for Freedom". The Muse. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Broken Politics by Neneh Cherry Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  7. ^ Bradbury, Sarah (17 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry - Broken Politics". Clash. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  8. ^ Alger, Anna (16 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry Broken Politics". Exclaim!. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b Snapes, Laura (19 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry: Broken Politics Review – Raw-Silk Empathy in a Shattered World". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  10. ^ Bassett, Jordan (18 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry – 'Broken Politics' review". NME. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  11. ^ Empire, Kitty (21 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry: Broken Politics review – aching prettiness reigns". The Observer. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  12. ^ Soto, Alfred (24 October 2018). "Neneh Cherry: Broken Politics Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  13. ^ Yates, Steve (November 2018). "Bitter Fruit". Q. p. 104.
  14. ^ a b Hermes, Will (22 October 2018). "Review: Neneh Cherry Addresses Global Issues with Playful Resolve on 'Broken Politics'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics". Uncut. London. November 2018. p. 26.
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 October 2018.