Album: Grace Jones, Hurricane (Wall of Sound)
Her first album in two decades finds Grace Jones's sound as untarnished by time as her public presence
These songs might have been frozen in some sonic glacier since the Eighties, to be thawed out when the wheel of fashion had turned enough to bring Jones back into favour – that is, right about now.
Her recent Royal Festival Hall comeback show was deemed a riotous success, but Jones apparently experienced some difficulty in interesting major labels in this album.
It's produced by musician/punchline Ivor Guest, Fourth Viscount Wimborne, who's created an impressive facsimile of her original musical style, marrying reggae-matic grooves with sinister industrial-tinged techno backdrops reinforcing Jones's predatory manner on songs like "Corporate Cannibal" and "This Is", which opens the album in a scudding two-step twitch.
What's less expected is the tender attitudes she betrays elsewhere, coming over all ecological-collectivist in "Sunset Sunrise", displaying consummate bedside manner as she offers to "Love You to Life", and reflecting on her own family history in "I'm Crying (Mother's Tears)" and "Williams' Blood", which employs handclaps and choral refrain to build up an almost gospel fervour, before concluding, with no hint of irony, with a quote from "Amazing Grace".
Pick of the album: 'This Is', 'Corporate Cannibal', 'Williams' Blood', 'Hurricane'