Brilliant and Stunning
Walter Goodman | kingston, ontario | 12/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ms. Hendryx made quite a departure with the album 'Skindiver'. Her past albums have been more R&B, dance based but she really hit her stride with this album.
Starting with Nona's vocals, she is so powerful without being overwrought or oversung. She has a husky, haunting voice that can still send shivers down my spine especially in the song '6th Sense' when she sings the final line "does anybody care".
The songs are a bit too electronic sounding for today's standards but that is a minor criticism. Lyrically, the songs are deep and meaningful and intelligently written. 'Through the Wire' can still bring a lump to my throat with the sample of Martin Luther King at the beginning (one of my favourite all time songs). The songs can be uplifting (women who fly), tribal (skindiver) and haunting (no emotion, 6th sense).
Not for the mainstream, though a rewarding listen to those open to meaningful, unique music performed by one of the best in the business."
Sinitta | Germany | 12/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nona is one of my favourites too and I have all her albums :) This album is
very experimental and just wonderful. The known single is "Women who fly".
You will find many songs that sound spiritual or like meditation-songs. They
are very interesting. Nona always does very interesting music with great
lyrics. Listen to "No emotion ( we must show)", "Skindiver" or "Off the
coast". This was my first Nona album and then I went buying all the others
:) Nona does not have a souldiva voice like e.g. Whitney, but she has a
special voice and for sure can sing. She used to be a member of La Belle,
with Patti La Belle, and is the original artist of
"Lady Marmalade" that way. Check her out - with this or any other album. It's
worth a try :) just be aware that her albums are always very different from
each others in style :)"
One of the Best ... Ever
M. Nichols | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the record, I didn't know who Nona Hendryx was or where she came from, found the music and video for the title track bizarre, and Nona kind of scary - at first. To clear the record, it was her fearlessness and the brutal honesty of her voice that intimidated me 15 years ago, and a friend (thankfully) reintroduced this album to me several years later.
"Skindiver" is, for me, a personal journey through the various stages, and resultant upheavals, of love in its many manifestations - from the yearning 'Off The Coast Of Love' (The Master - is love, according to Nona), to her cry for help '6th Sense' ("Can anybody feel me/ Does anybody care") to empiric rebirth in 'New Desire' ("I'm tenderly falling/ Into your arms, Catch me I'm falling"). 'Women Who Fly' and 'No Emotion' stand out for their sheer intensity and contrasting styles - the former's percussion driven inner dialogue versus the latter's guitar grinding highs and synthesized mellows exploring the divide people face at the end of bad relationships and wasted lives.
The inarguable gem of this collection, however, is 'Through The Wire'. The ethereal quality of the music alone is stunning. Interwoven with Nona's deft vocal stylings that are, in a word, breathtaking on every other track for their sheer emotional clarity, and you have a masterpiece that, in my humble opinion, I cannot imagine any other artist performing.
I recommend to anyone who loves music to give this album a spin and decide for themselves - personally, it's one of my favorites, and over the years just sounds better. I'm guessing it's because I get more out of Nona's lyrics, arrangements, sounds, etc. with the more experience I gather in life - how many CEs nowadays, let alone artists like Nona (who is very much like Prince in writing every song, and producing and performing the instruments for much of the album herself), can anyone say that about?"