01. Off the Coast of Love [0:04:33.20]
02. Women Who Fly [0:05:13.10]
03. No Emotion [0:05:30.05]
04. Love is Kind [0:03:39.48]
05. Tears [0:04:33.72]
06. Skin Diver [0:05:09.45]
07. 6th Sense [0:06:01.53]
08. Through the Wire [0:04:45.10]
09. Interior Voices [0:04:49.60]
10. New Desire [0:05:07.57]
# Audio CD (June 28, 1989)
# Original Release Date: July 1989
# Number of Discs: 1
# Label: Private Music
# ASIN: B000008GI6
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
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?