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Album review: Grace Jones' 'Hurricane'

September 5, 2011 |  5:15 pm

Grace
 
It’s been 18 years since the inimitable Grace Jones released an album stateside, but the legendary new-wave, nightclubbing diva was always light years ahead of her time; in a Gaga world, she sounds more relevant than ever. Downright prescient, in fact: How could the Jamaican-born fashion and music icon have known that an album called "Hurricane" would be stunningly apropos right now? (Especially since it was released in Europe a couple of years ago.)

Please let me be one whit as cool as Jones when I’m well into my fifth decade. No one intones like the stentorian Warhol muse -- and then she breaks into vibrato-driven song, throbbing and strong. She’s fierce on the declarative "This Is," lacerating on the YouTube favorite "Corporate Cannibal," sinister and sexy on "Love You to Life" ("attracted to immorality / a magnet to immortality"), mournful and moving on "I’m Crying (Mother’s Tears)."

In Jones’ hands, with the help of island legends Sly and Robbie, reggae pulses with menace and bristles with intrigue. Brian Eno helps deliver the illbeint atmosphere with keyboards and "treatments" that lurk, poke and crash, and Tricky spits his thing on the title track. But mostly it’s Jones, along with co-producer Ivor Guest, who delivers this unquiet storm of a comeback.

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-- Evelyn McDonnell

Grace Jones

"Hurricane"

(PIAS America)

Four stars (out of four)

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