April 11, 2012Comments Off
Check out this great track review of Neneh Cherry & The Thing’s Dream Baby Dream on Pitchfork here. And here is the whole review:
When Bruce Springsteen covered Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” to close out shows in the Devils and Dust tour, he burrowed deep into the song and discovered something essential about it. By stretching it out, stripping it down, and putting the focus on a series of lyrical mantras (some of which were his own), Springsteen made a case for dreaming as the only rational response to the absurdity and ultimate futility of life. Gotta keep that fire burning– what choice do we have? Neneh Cherry, the eccentric singer whom you may or may not remember from 1980s dance pop hits like “Buffalo Stance”, comes at the song from another angle while teaming with the Norwegian/Swedish avant-jazz ensemble the Thing. Where Springsteen imagined the dream as a Sisyphean rage against death, Cherry and co. hear it as a path to ecstasy. The rhythm, beaten out on toms, mimics the dinky Latinized drum machine patter of Suicide’s original but makes it a little slower and a couple of fathoms deeper. Cherry’s voice begins as more of a late-Billie Holiday croak but ascends along with the song, one step leading to the next as it grows in intensity and feeling. For their part, the Thing treat the song’s simple melody the way Albert Ayler did European folk ditties, mixing breezily sentimental yearning with a rush of emotion so torrential it borders on violence and terror. “Dream baby dream baby dream baby dream baby dream baby dream… keep those dreams burning… forever.” They’ll never last that long, and neither will the people dreaming them, but that’s the beautiful thing about music: When the song reaches its peak about six minutes in, I start to believe.