A sequel that’s faster, flashier and more bombastic than the original
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.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to suppress the notion that by miring herself in the ’90s, inadvertently she occasionally sounds as dated as a dog-eared Northern Uproar poster. You can’t help but wonder how dementedly brilliant it would be to have her work with someone like Jay-Z or Xenomania. Now, that would be something else.
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