Blank Project - Neneh Cherry
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. The songs are sparky and Cherry is in excellent voice as she raps, sings and swings against the sparse, drum and bass-style backing orchestrated by Four Tet.
  2. Feb 18, 2014
    100
    It’s rare that you get an album by an established artist that genuinely shocks and irrevocably repositions them. Blank Project is one of those albums. This is a hugely significant return.
  3. Feb 25, 2014
    91
    Neneh Cherry has been making music for 25 years now, but Blank Project proves that she’s absolutely free of any signs of creative stagnation.
  4. Mar 4, 2014
    90
    Blank Project represents one of those rarefied moments in which an established artist meets the expectations set by her previous career, and then exceeds them in the most exciting, tangential of ways, resulting in something thrillingly different, hella moody, and deeply exciting.
  5. Feb 24, 2014
    90
    From front to back, Blank Project is riveting uneasy listening.
  6. 90
    It really is a stunning record, a completely unexpected treat and an album of the year contender, no doubt.
  7. Mar 3, 2014
    86
    The album captures the artist in scintillating form with its potent mesh-up of gutsy inventiveness and great maturity.
  8. 83
    Blank Project never aims for luxuriance. Neneh Cherry instead undertakes-- and nails--a riskier feat: a reflection on midlife that sounds both wise and inventive.
  9. Mar 6, 2014
    80
    Lyrically, this may be the work of a 49 year-old woman, with its ruminations on family, married life and paying the bills, but, in terms of its energy and sheer lust for life, it could not sound fresher.
  10. Feb 26, 2014
    80
    It's a major work, one that confirms that she's only marginal in the sense that she's vibrating on her own wavelength, way out at the edge of the spectrum.
  11. Feb 26, 2014
    80
    There is no decline, no irrelevance. Blank Project is Cherry’s finest album, and proves she is an artist still on an upward trajectory.
  12. Feb 25, 2014
    80
    Recorded in five days with producer Four Tet and musical duo RocketNumberNine, the disc maintains a raw, improvisatory feel.
  13. 80
    This new music sounds fresh, vibrant and effortless.
  14. Feb 24, 2014
    80
    This record is rammed full of fantastically fresh and challenging beats and bears the hallmarks of Cherry's streetwise style.
  15. Feb 24, 2014
    80
    There are so many things here that shouldn’t mix, but the brute force of Cherry’s personality smooths them.
  16. Feb 24, 2014
    80
    From the haunting '422', with its echoing chimes, to the dark electro-pop of 'Out of the Black' which features a great guest vocal from Robyn, there are too many stand out moments to take in in just one listen.
  17. Feb 24, 2014
    80
    There's a good deal to enjoy here.
  18. Feb 24, 2014
    80
    It’s a stark but warm-blooded product of avant-garde pop, just the sort of album you might have once hoped for from Ms. Cherry, whose singing is still limber and unlabored, earthy but cool.
  19. Feb 21, 2014
    80
    The glue between ten ambitious tracks, she holds her own and sounds more relevant than ever.
  20. Feb 20, 2014
    80
    The result is incredibly potent and human.
  21. Feb 20, 2014
    80
    A bold and adventurous album.
  22. Feb 18, 2014
    80
    A dream partnership. [Mar 2014, p.110]
  23. Feb 18, 2014
    80
    This lean, hungry and impeccably intense record is everything the involvement of those collaborators [RocketNumberNine & Kieran Hebden] might lead you to hope for, and a lot more besides. [Mar 2014, p.95]
  24. Feb 18, 2014
    80
    It’s as beguiling and bewitching as you’d expect.
  25. Feb 24, 2014
    77
    The album, and the woman steering it, are not only comfortable with their eccentricities but strengthened by them, and the effect is enthralling.
  26. 75
    The ten tracks here can feel a bit weighty when played in succession, especially with “Weightless” and “422” each running about a minute too long. The final three tracks (“Out of the Black”, “Dossier”, and “Everything”) go a long way to ease that issue.
  27. Feb 25, 2014
    75
    Here Cherry proves that comeback [2012's That Cherry Thing] was no fluke.
  28. Feb 21, 2014
    75
    Minor quibbles aside, for the most part Blank Project shares the same timeless quality as her best work and sees a mature and engaging return for one of pop's true originals. [Feb/Mar 2014, p.70]
  29. Mar 26, 2014
    70
    Blank Project sounds like an empowered foundation stone for her next steps. [Feb 2014, p.44]
  30. 70
    It’s a very puzzling record, but the last thing you should do is try and puzzle it out: just go with it and you’ll find its strange charms working much more quickly than you might have thought at first.
  31. Feb 25, 2014
    70
    Produced with finesse by Four Tet, whose ability to mix live drum grooves and electronic muscle is unrivaled, it's music that beats its own path, brilliantly.
  32. Feb 25, 2014
    70
    Most songs are unfettered, with demo-quality mixes, a bare minimum of instrumentation, and over-exposed live drumming. Split between improvisatory and electronically assisted, the album's 10 songs navigate a raw zone.
  33. Feb 21, 2014
    70
    After 17 odd years of making solo albums, Neneh Cherry surfaces with the force of a jab rather than an uppercut. We appreciate the contact regardless.
  34. Mar 14, 2014
    60
    Listening to it can be exhaustive, particularly during its clumsier second half, in which the narratives are duller (particularly Dossier), the musical progressions more stagnant (422). It’s undeniable, though, that this is a very original, fruitful record
  35. Mar 10, 2014
    60
    The raw, mellow, hip-hop, electronic, jazz infused solo return of Neneh Cherry is an enjoyable ride; some songs are immediately addictive while others slowly become more appealing after several listens and sonic osmosis.
  36. 60
    It’s starker and sharper than you might expect--the most pop-conscious piece is a collaboration with Robyn, “Out of the Black”--but it works well on the sinister shuffle of “Spit Three Times” and bleak jitter of “Naked”.
  37. Feb 18, 2014
    60
    Cherry's still youthful voice and angsty lyrics feel somewhat disconnected from these dubby rumbles and dirges. [Mar 2014, p.73]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 8, 2014
    10
    Pretty much the best comeback of the year with stunning tracks like 'Blank Project' ' Cynical' 'Dossier' and '422' anyway the whole album is perfection. Best album of 2014. Hands down! Full Review »
  2. Mar 5, 2014
    5
    There's like 2 or 3 good tracks here, but they're not enough to make this album remarkable in any way. These tracks are: Naked, Spit Three Times, and 422. Full Review »