Grace Jones - Hurricane

If you thought Portishead and Guns N’ Roses were dithering between records, consider Grace Jones. Hurricane, arriving with considerably less fanfare than Third or Chinese Democracy, is her first album in 20 years. Yet it sounds surprisingly contemporary and relevant, even without taking into account she now has sixty years on the clock. A decade younger, Madonna seems demure in comparison: not for Ms. Jones adventures in dumb disco.

This is a woman that can still be panther scary. This Is, Corporate Cannibal and Hurricane in particular sound like they could have been ripped from Massive Attack's Mezzanine album; aggressive beats, heavy guitars, and sinister, if vaguely silly, lyrics ("Pleased to meet you/ Pleased to have you on my plate/ Your meat is sweet to me") delivered in the expected predatory manner. Massive Attack picked Jones for one of their recent Meltdown concerts, so it's probable there's some mutual love. To further the link, ex-Massive member, Tricky, appears as a collaborator here, apparently mumbling in the background of the title track (if you listen very carefully).

Other contributions come from Brian Eno and Sly & Robbie, the latter pair presumably helping out on authentic reggae tracks Well Well Well and Love You To Life. These demonstrate a less frightening side, as do the likes of I'm Crying (Mother's Tears) (think downtempo, er, Massive Attack) and Sunset Sunrise on which she expresses her enviromental concerns. And before you think "just what we need: another pop star lecturing us on green issues", it is made more palatable thanks to some interesting xylophone.

So, yes, Hurricane does sort of resemble a Massive Attack album on which Grace Jones provides the guest vocals on every track. If not quite as brave (or anti-commercial) as Portishead's Third, this, for a woman who's been out of the limelight for twice as long, is still a fairly remarkable comeback, sounding fresher than much in 2008.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 21:42:14

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