the inimitable voice of grace jones
so after 19 years, grace jones has finally released a new album – the killer ‘hurricane’ (out in europe & asia now, america, sometime in december). this was one of the more hotly anticipated records for me this year.
from the opening words of the first track “this is my voice, my weapon of choice” – (featuring some of the coolest percussion in a long long time), you know your in for a trip. this record sounds just like a grace jones album should sound like in 2008. yes, there is a link to her compass pointe past but it is modern, hard and soft at the same time. it’s as if 19 years hadn’t passed at all.
one of the high points is the jam ‘williams’ blood’ (also the next single). the tune is a big big song with a tight groove (the tune is co-writen by wendy & lisa) – its a cool as fuck tune. following that is ‘corporate cannibal’ who’s nick hooker directed video and highly electronic sound captured the internet earlier this year. the album continues on showing everything from a very ambient side of grace (the title track, co-written with tricky) and at times a very soulful side ‘i’m crying (mother’s tears)’.
the album features a who’s who of modern music. besides the aforementioned wendy & lisa and tricky – brian eno, sly & robbie, ivor guest, marc van eyck and even her son paulo goude (just imagine grace as your mother – what a trip!) also appear.
hurricane proves shes been away from the music world far too long, but if this is what we get after 19 years, i’ll wait another 19 for the followup. hurricane could have been a slap-dash, sloppily assembled selection of random tunes in whatever the musical flavor of the month was at the time. instead, we get an album that sounds fresh, focused and strong (all while being held together by her classic signature style; dub). witty and play full as often as punishing, the album reminds you of the first time you heard her sing ‘pull up to the bumper’ and forces you to stop and listen.
the album miss-steps here and there – the title track isn’t as strong as you would like (i blame tricky for that however, tricky is never as strong as you would like) but at the end of the day, the album is produced so well, you just can’t wait to find out what happens next.
grace recently appeared on the bbc show ‘later with jools holland’. thank god for the internet so we can see the performances too. (while your watching, just think – she’s 60 years old! she looks and sounds amazing – and that voice is still as thick as honey). she did ‘love you to life’ from the new album, and her classic ‘pull up to the bumper’. enjoy:
love you to life
pull up to the bumper