Wednesday, 3 July 2013

BRAVE AND DIFFERENT: Cherry Natural cuts loose on lyrically potent new album

WARRIOR SPIRIT: The poet waxes daring and defiant.

Cherry Natural's new CD, Intellectual Bad Gal, delivers on the promise of the title: clever wordplay, wild rhymes and provocative call-to-action lyrics, making the album a truly worthwhile listen. It's equal parts power and passion, soul and seduction. A few cuts do fall short of the requisite pull, but the messenger's point comes across all the same with brutal force. 

The highlights, numerous among the 17 tracks, include "Is Long Time Poets A Write," perhaps her most popular piece, which earns a militant delivery here; "Colour Problem," which takes aim at racial violence in America, singling out the still-fresh Trayvon Martin tragedy for mention; and "Fight Back," a fiery look at domestic violence. 

She spares no punches on "Man Show," which laments the dearth of female talent in the contemporary dub-poetry movement. She brings a more feminine touch though on "A Warrior's Love Poem" and "Age is Just a Number" and shows her peers some love on "Poets Fi Get Pay." 

On occasion, the speed of particular riddims outpace Cherry's lyrics, resulting in an out-of-sync feel. But even such a quibble is not enough to diminish the album's overall potency, steeped in the heart and mind concerns the poet has for her fellow man while engaging with key issues that span the gamut from race, injustice and the scourge of crime to dreams and hopes, even the ones that are "going up in vapour." Tyrone's Verdict: B

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