Music

Cirkus: Laylower

The world's a better place with Neneh Cherry in it.


Cirkus

Laylower

Contributors: Neneh Cherry, Burt Ford, Matt Karmil, Lolita Moon
Label: Groove Attack
US Release Date: 2008-03-04
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

The world's a better place with Neneh Cherry in it. Despite the fact that she's spent her entire career living in the shadow of "Buffalo Stance", the song that she remains most closely associated with, she's carved out a wonderful career for herself, and at her own pace to boot. Now 44 years old, she'd certainly be forgiven for fading entirely into the past, with a rich legacy of quiet musical successes to her name, but CirKus is evidence that she's not at all ready to do that just yet.

CirKus is a project actually headed up by Cherry's husband Burt Ford and also augmented by vocalist/keyboardist Lolita Moon and DJ/multi-instrumentalist Karmil. Together, their music (as evidenced by Laylower) hearkens back to the time when Ford and Cherry were closely associated with the Wild Bunch/Massive Attack crew, dominated by slow beats and hip-hop intimations, with a liberal dose of rock 'n roll guitars to punch up the intensity now and again. Ford himself actually does a whole pile of the vocals, sounding a fair bit like Horace Andy with less vibrato, but Cherry and Moon do the best work, particularly when the former is cutting loose with a little bit of venom; the kiss-off vibe of "You're Such An..." is sort of hilarious, and her aggressive rap on opener "Laylow" is plenty to snap the listener out of the hazy vibe that the song introduces.

Laylower is actually a re-recording of the collective's first album Laylow, with an eye on what worked and what didn't when they performed it in a live setting; not having heard the first iteration of these songs, my suspicion is that whatever they did worked. Laylower is 71 minutes that constantly sounds fresh despite the near 20-year-old sound it evokes. Those who miss that sound will find plenty to like.

8

The 70 Best Albums of 2019

From forward-looking electronic and experimental to new approaches in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and punk to rock and pop, 2019 bestowed an embarrassment of musical riches upon us.

Music

The 10 Best Electropop Albums of 2019

From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.

Music

Codeine Club Music: 10 Sizzurp Rappers and Their Lean Lyrics

Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather #19

This week we have shadowy trap from Jordan Comolli, grime infused techno from Barney Lister, eclectic indie from Weird Milk, lo-fi indie pop from Tricky Juno, and an absolute belter from Two Tribes.

Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.