Review : Grace Jones - Hurricane
Musicomh"Pleased to meet you...pleased to have you on my plate... your meat is sweet to me," deadpans Grace Jones at the start of Corporate Cannibal, over the menacing swirls of a rising storm. Twenty years on, and it's just like old times. Ms Jones still seems primed to throw a viper onto your lap, or at the very least to lamp you for daring to look the other way.
But there's a twist: the cannibal in question isn't Grace herself. As the track builds into a broody, insistent piece of industrial trip-hop, it becomes clear that this is a protest song of sorts, and that the "man eating machine" is none other than The Man of the corporate boardroom. Could there be something more tender underneath the role-playing?...full text
YahooIn a year when one-time pop hitters (yet arguably always nothingers) such as ABC can attempt a comeback on the growing '80s revival wave, it's no surprise that an actual bona fide '80s icon comes to reclaim past glories. Living up to its title, Jones' first album in almost 20 years (bar a couple of planned, but unreleased, long-players) leaves the recent efforts of other disco lynchpins, such as Donna Summers' "Crayons", destroyed in its wake.
Passers-by will remember film appearances (perhaps most notably "A View To A Kill" and "Boomerang"), could never shake the image of Jones' imposing, angular physique from their mind, and will likely have heard of some of the mild controversies that have attached themselves to her over the years. What they're less likely to be aware of, however, is how striking her music was - and remains. Thirty-one years on from her debut, "Portfolio", her musical world still straddles contemporary electro tropes, yet retains a quality of its own, here often couched in a sense of the foreboding....full text
NmeThe opening lines are killer: “This is my voice/My weapon of choice”. Clearly two decades away has not eroded Grace Jones’ wonderfully ridiculous talent for portentous claims. Indeed, throughout this album her self-mythologising makes Johnny Borrell’s most outrageous self-aggrandisements look like the pronouncements of a timid suburban vicar. Throughout the ’80s her towering presence was peerless. She stage-managed and exploited her own image with the expertise of a Dali or Warhol, and surrounded herself with the best musicians, collaborators and producers. The genre-hopping songs of ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ and ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’, meanwhile, were polished to the point that she could see her own extraordinary face in them.
Now she has attempted to repeat the magic, roping in the talents of Brian Eno, Tricky and Massive Attack and bringing back the reggae rhythms of Sly & Robbie. It’s something of a success. In revisiting the production of her ’80s records she paradoxically produces something that sounds timeless. ‘Well, Well, Well’ and ‘Love You To Life’ in particular revisit the best of Jones’ reggae period. Sadly, there isn’t anything to rival Trevor Horn’s dramatic epic production of ‘Slave To The Rhythm’. Instead the atmospherics are urban and downbeat – dystopian rather than utopian. So ‘Corporate Cannibal’ has Massive Attack’s heady paranoiac fug hanging around like marijuana smoke, while a legendary ’97 Tricky tie-in provides the title track.Incidentally, both have some of her best ever scary-canary lyrics (“I’m a man-eating machine... Eat you like an animal... Every man, woman, and child is a target”; “I’ll be a hurricane, ripping up trees”). Clearly she still believes she’s a force of nature. But this time around it’s literal. Closer ‘Devil In My Life’ oozes a similar distracted bass-heavy otherworldliness, seeing Grace clearly enjoy updating the template. And these arrangements allow her to playfully luxuriate in her dominatrix persona....full text
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