The Cherry Thing

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The Cherry Thing
Studio album by
Released19 June 2012
LabelSmalltown Supersound
ProducerCameron McVey, Robert Harder
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[3]
Down Beat4/5 stars[4]
The Financial Times4/5 stars[5]
The Guardian4/5 stars[6]

The Cherry Thing is an album by vocalist Neneh Cherry and The Thing, consisting of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. It was recorded in 2011 and released the following year by Smalltown Supersound.


Neneh Cherry's stepfather was free jazz trumpeter Don Cherry.[7] The trio The Thing took their name from a track on Don Cherry's 1966 album Where Is Brooklyn?[7] Cherry "began her career in the 1980s as a teen vocalist in post-punk outfits Rip Rig & Panic and Float Up CP; both melded free jazz and angular funk."[2] Conny Lindstrom, who had produced albums by The Thing, also knew Cherry and suggested that she perform with them.[8]

Recording and music[edit]

The Cherry Thing was recorded at Harder Sound Studios in London and Atlantis Studios in Stockholm.[9]

The album contains eight tracks. The two originals are "Sudden Moment" by Gustafsson and "Cashback" by Cherry.[2] The nine-minute version of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" "is no less ethereal than the original, but far more sinister; Cherry [...] keeps the beautiful melodic core intact, even as she becomes ever more insistent, showing her dominant authority. Her accompanists build a gorgeous wall of atmospheric tension behind her".[2] Martina Topley-Bird's "Too Tough to Die" "begins sparsely and slowly before Cherry and Gustafsson enter and begin pushing, [...] Cherry's vocal is emboldened with risk, turning the melody in on itself and ululating against the baritone horn. The rhythm sections answers with syncopated breaks and funk."[2] MF Doom's "Accordion" and the Stooges' "Dirt" "are sparse, threatening, and poignant, the former tinged with implied violence, and the latter [...] smolders with raw, dark sensuality."[2] Don Cherry's "Golden Heart" is "an otherworldly meld of Middle Eastern modes and textures and a skeletal lyric frame that displays this group's command of diverse musical languages."[2] On Ornette Coleman's "What Reason", the "nearly mournful presentation, with gorgeous jazz singing by Cherry and restrained yet adventurous soloing by Gustafsson and Håker Flaten, make the tune drip with longing."[2]


The album was released on 19 June 2012.[2] It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.[10]


BBC reviewer John Doran stated that the recording was "one of the most enjoyable and original albums of the year".[11] John Fordham of The Guardian commented that the music "dramatically bridges the singer's avant-pop world and the flat-out sax-howling, percussion-thundering soundscape the group have been poleaxing audiences with since 2000."[6] Ben Ratliff of The New York Times wrote that the intentional contrast between Cherry's tenderness and the band's loud aggression sometimes became unbalanced in favour of the latter.[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Cashback" (Neneh Cherry) – 5:58
  2. "Dream Baby Dream" (Martin Rev, Alan Vega) – 8:24
  3. "Too Tough to Die" (Martina Topley-Bird) – 5:13
  4. "Sudden Moment" (Mats Gustafsson) – 8:26
  5. "Accordion" (Daniel Dumile, Otis Jackson, Jr.) – 6:10
  6. "Golden Heart" (Don Cherry) – 4:43
  7. "Dirt" (David Alexander, James Osterberg, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton) – 6:47
  8. "What Reason" (Ornette Coleman) – 5:18



  1. ^ "The Cherry Thing by Neneh Cherry". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jurek, Thom "Neneh Cherry / The Thing – The Cherry Thing". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (1 July 2012) "Album Review: Neneh Cherry, 'The Cherry Thing'". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Margasak, Peter (October 2012) "Neneh Cherry and The Thing – The Cherry Thing". Down Beat. p. 58.
  5. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic (23 June 2012) "Neneh Cherry and The Thing: The Cherry Thing". The Financial Times.
  6. ^ a b Fordham, John (28 June 2012) "Neneh Cherry: The Cherry Thing – Review". The Guardian.
  7. ^ a b Rogers, Jude (22 May 2012). "Neneh Cherry: 'Jazz Can Be the Way You Make Love'". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Fusilli, Jim (20 June 2012) "Music: The Thing About Ms. Cherry". The Wall Street Journal. p. D5.
  9. ^ "Neneh Cherry & Thing, The (2) – The Cherry Thing". Discogs. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Jazz Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  11. ^ Doran, John "Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  12. ^ Ratliff, Ben (19 June 2012) "Neneh Cherry & The Thing". The New York Times. p. C5.

Further reading[edit]