INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Inpress OCTOBER 29, 2008 - by Matt O'Neill
GRACE JONES: HURRICANE
Grace Jones is sixty. It's cruel to emphasise an artist's age over their music in an album review, but Grace Jones' age is an important factor when it comes to understanding the true scope of Hurricane's achievement. Grace Jones, 1980s iconoclast, Warhol pal and bona fide senior citizen has, despite twenty years out of the album-releasing game, managed to craft an absolutely stunning release. It's a baffling accomplishment. If Michael Jackson released an impressive album tomorrow, it would be no less shocking.
A sweeping, mercurial statement of intent shifting from fractured bass pulses to vivacious refrains. This Is begins proceedings with a stuttering, electro-Afro-tribalism that still fails to successfully presage the true intensity of Hurricane's artistry. The shattered guitar noise, creeping rhythms and menacing vocals of majestic lead single Corporate Cannibal favourably recall the torturous climaxes of Massive Attack's Mezzanine, while elsewhere, Well Well Well's richly textured and psychedelically soulful reggae lightens the album's tone without sacrificing any of its innate pathos.
It would be easy to dismiss Jones' accomplishments in light of the sterling collaborators and guest musicians she's enlisted for the album (ranging from Brian Eno to Sly & Robbie and Tony Allen), but it's impossible to deny the overwhelming presence of Jones' indefatigable character throughout the album. Her elastic vocals stretch from whispered raps to soulful exultations and collagist post-techno tribalism that dominates the album's aesthetic is irrefutable Jones. It truly is an astonishing record and, most impressively, would probably still be so if it wasn't a comeback album. Get it.