WITH its "serious" title and its maker still (unfairly) best known for her 30-year-old tough-girl track Buffalo Stance, what’s only the fifth album of Neneh Cherry’s career suggests unstrung anger, aggression and accusation.

Instead, Broken Politics is an album of deftness, sense and a distinct lack of polarisation, which is in itself remarkable, considering its canvas includes gun crime, abortion, xenophobia, and fake news.

Cherry is observant rather than explosive, reflective rather than revolutionary, with strings, steel drums and flutes among the array of instrumentation fleshing out her R&B/soul leanings, and her voice shifting between the jagged and the silken, but never lapsing into cliché or empty sloganeering.

Kong and Natural Skin Deep keep the spirit of Massive Attack alive, with Fallen Leaves and Soldier soothingly bookending Broken Politics, while Shot Gun Shack is a clipped warning salvo and Synchronised Devotion a twinkling statement of where Cherry feels herself to be – in her own place, not on anyone else’s agenda or bandwagon.

However fractured the politics, Cherry’s musical touch shows no cracks, and neither does her refusal to compromise what she witnesses and believes just to align with extremes of opinion. This isn’t a manifesto. It’s just very good, and very relevant, music.