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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Mercury Prize Selection
Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, is an album of stunning sustained vision and imagination, a record that sounds like it has no precedent as it boldly predicts a new future. Of course, neither sentiment is true. Much of the music on Maxinquaye has its roots in the trip-hop pioneered by Massive Attack, which once featured Tricky, and after the success of this record, trip-hop became fashionable, turning into safe, comfortable music to be played at upscale dinner parties thrown by hip twenty and thirtysomethings. Both of these sentiments are true, yet Maxinquaye still manages to retain its power; years later, it can still sound haunting, disturbing, and surprising after countless spins. It's an album that exists outside of time and outside of trends, a record whose clanking rhythms, tape haze, murmured vocals, shards of noise, reversed gender roles, alt-rock asides, and soul samplings create a ghostly netherworld fused with seductive menace and paranoia. It also shimmers with mystery, coming not just from Tricky -- whose voice isn't even heard until the second song on the record -- but his vocalist, Martine, whose smoky singing lures listeners into the unrelenting darkness of the record. Once they're there, Maxinquaye offers untold treasures. There is the sheer pleasure of coasting by on the sound of the record, how it makes greater use of noise and experimental music than anything since the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy. Then, there's the tip of the hat to PE with a surreal cover of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," sung by Martine and never sounding like a postmodernist in-joke. Other references and samples register subconsciously -- while Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II" flows through "Hell Is Around the Corner" and the Smashing Pumpkins are even referenced in the title of "Pumpkin," Shakespear's Sister and the Chantels slip by, while Michael Jackson's "Bad" thrillingly bleeds into "Expressway to Your Heart" on "Brand New You're Retro." Lyrics flow in and out of consciousness, with lingering, whispered promises suddenly undercut by veiled threats and bursts of violence. Then, there's how music that initially may seem like mood pieces slowly reveal their ingenious structure and arrangement and register as full-blown songs, or how the alternately languid and chaotic rhythms finally compliment each other, turning this into a bracing sonic adventure that gains richness and resonance with each listen. After all, there's so much going on here -- within the production, the songs, the words -- it remains fascinating even after all of its many paths have been explored (which certainly can't be said of the trip-hop that followed, including records by Tricky). And that air of mystery that can be impenetrable upon the first listen certainly is something that keeps Maxinquaye tantalizing after it's become familiar, particularly because, like all good mysteries, there's no getting to the bottom of it, no matter how hard you try. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2010 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - Hi-Res Audio
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 2009 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, is an album of stunning sustained vision and imagination, a record that sounds like it has no precedent as it boldly predicts a new future. Of course, neither sentiment is true. Much of the music on Maxinquaye has its roots in the trip-hop pioneered by Massive Attack, which once featured Tricky, and after the success of this record, trip-hop became fashionable, turning into safe, comfortable music to be played at upscale dinner parties thrown by hip twenty and thirtysomethings. Both of these sentiments are true, yet Maxinquaye still manages to retain its power; years later, it can still sound haunting, disturbing, and surprising after countless spins. It's an album that exists outside of time and outside of trends, a record whose clanking rhythms, tape haze, murmured vocals, shards of noise, reversed gender roles, alt-rock asides, and soul samplings create a ghostly netherworld fused with seductive menace and paranoia. It also shimmers with mystery, coming not just from Tricky -- whose voice isn't even heard until the second song on the record -- but his vocalist, Martine, whose smoky singing lures listeners into the unrelenting darkness of the record. Once they're there, Maxinquaye offers untold treasures. There is the sheer pleasure of coasting by on the sound of the record, how it makes greater use of noise and experimental music than anything since the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy. Then, there's the tip of the hat to PE with a surreal cover of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," sung by Martine and never sounding like a postmodernist in-joke. Other references and samples register subconsciously -- while Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II" flows through "Hell Is Around the Corner" and the Smashing Pumpkins are even referenced in the title of "Pumpkin," Shakespear's Sister and the Chantels slip by, while Michael Jackson's "Bad" thrillingly bleeds into "Expressway to Your Heart" on "Brand New You're Retro." Lyrics flow in and out of consciousness, with lingering, whispered promises suddenly undercut by veiled threats and bursts of violence. Then, there's how music that initially may seem like mood pieces slowly reveal their ingenious structure and arrangement and register as full-blown songs, or how the alternately languid and chaotic rhythms finally compliment each other, turning this into a bracing sonic adventure that gains richness and resonance with each listen. After all, there's so much going on here -- within the production, the songs, the words -- it remains fascinating even after all of its many paths have been explored (which certainly can't be said of the trip-hop that followed, including records by Tricky). And that air of mystery that can be impenetrable upon the first listen certainly is something that keeps Maxinquaye tantalizing after it's become familiar, particularly because, like all good mysteries, there's no getting to the bottom of it, no matter how hard you try. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1996 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Nearly God is Tricky's unofficial second album -- he calls it a collection of brilliant, incomplete demos. When Tricky signed his contract with Island, it allowed him to release an album a year under a different name and Nearly God is the first of these efforts. Tricky recorded the record with a diverse cast of collaborators -- in addition to his partner Martina, there's Terry Hall, Björk, Neneh Cherry, Cath Coffey, Dedi Madden, and Alison Moyet (Damon Albarn pulled his track just before the album's release). Building on the ghostly, dark soundscapes of Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, Nearly God narrows the focus of his first record by making the music slower, hazier, and more distubing. It's not as coherent as Maxinquaye, but that's part of its appeal. Nearly God is a haunting, fractured, surreal nightmare that doesn't always make sense, but never fails to make an impact. Certain collaborators work better than others -- Tricky understands the eeriness of Terry Hall's voice, but he does nothing to tame Alison Moyet's inappropriate bluesy shrieking -- but the overall effect of the album is quietly devastating. It gets under your skin and stays there. It's a brilliantly evocative nightmare. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released September 9, 2014 | False Idols

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
As the calendar turned to 2014, rapper, producer, and trip-hop icon Tricky had spent a couple years decrying his classic 1995 debut Maxinquaye, calling it a directionless "coffee-table album," as if it were up to him. Like 2013's False Idols, Adrian Thaws (Tricky's real name) is further proof that the man's ideas about what's good for his future are inversely proportional to his awareness of what's good from his past. This grooving, shifting, murky mix of menace and darkness borrows from the current landscape of pop as few earlier albums do, and borrows with love and admiration, as the bubbling techno of "Nicotine Love" and the A$AP Mob-style beats of key cut "Lonnie Listen" ("I work out everyday and I'm still not fit/My kids are hungry and I ain't got shit") feel all the way live and vital. On the other hand, "I Had a Dream" with Francesca Belmonte is elegant, reserved, and a traditional type of beautiful, slinking across some downtown loft with looped-piano riffs and gruff whispers making it identifiably Tricky. Other songs are identifiably him because of their lazy sway, and yet the Deluxe Edition's closing cut, "Different People," pops with a light funk beat, while the cover of the reggae favorite "Silly Games" -- featuring the album's sweet secret weapon, singer Tirzah -- ain't reggae, but ska, just at an acceptable trip-hop tempo. Lyrically, disgust and disgrace are always close at hand, with sentimental and wistful bits pulling things toward the positive, and if ever there seemed a Tricky album designed for variety night, it's this one, as the second half embraces indie, funk, R&B, and various strains of electronic dance. If False Idols was the return, Adrian Thaws is the great diversification, and if being disappointed with your universally accepted classic inspires greatness like this, then Maxinquaye be damned (but only in Tricky's presence). © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released September 4, 2020 | False Idols

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A shadowy figure in the truest sense of the word, Adrian Thaws a.k.a. Tricky has never found the light switch. On Ununiform (2017), the British artist, who has been based in Berlin since 2015, reminded us that he is still one of the most gifted painters of the human soul’s darkness. This master of trip-hop is all too familiar with it. He was orphaned at a very young age, was convicted not much later and his only daughter, Mina Mazy, committed suicide in 2019 at the age of 24. Tricky, now in his fifties, continues to do Tricky. But he doesn’t stop there. On Fall Please, the first single from his 14th album Fall to Pieces, he layers his jet black world on a groove that he says he inherited from go-go music, a subgenre of funk originating from Washington in the seventies. “I’ve managed to do something I’ve never been able to do before. It’s my version of pop music, the closest I’ve got to making pop”. Elsewhere Tricky skilfully blurs the tracks, interrupting a song without warning or following a minimalist and oppressive sequence (Close Now) with a melancholic beat (Thinking Of) or a deceptively playful song (Running Off). As always, female vocals are at the heart of his creations. This time it’s the voice of an unknown Polish woman, Marta Złakowska, who he met during his last European tour and hired on the first night, in Krakow, as a backup singer. “I can tell when someone is humble and down to earth. Martha doesn’t care about being famous, she just wants to sing.” Between pure new wave and haunting trip hop, Fall to Pieces brings together more snippets of songs than truly completed compositions (Hate This Pain, Vietnam). A strange but never unpleasant feeling. Fall to Pieces is another MRI scan of the brain of a complex musician who feeds on his inner suffering. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Trip Hop - Released September 22, 2017 | False Idols

Hi-Res Booklet
On Skilled Mechanics which came out in 2016, Adrian Thaws (a.k.a. Tricky) never emerged from the darkness. The same is true for Ununiform, his thirteenth album that he published a year later. Disc after disc, the British artists reminds us that he is without a doubt the most gifted painter/singer in terms of exploring the darkness of the human soul. He is familiar with the obscure side of the force, having been made an orphan at a young age and convicted not much later… A few months shy of 50 years of age, Tricky (who’s lived in Berlin since 2015) offers a new beautiful and disturbing collage of his various phobias, passions and nightmares. Incidentally, the German capital has made an impact on this work. Just like the Russian capital. "I like Berlin because I don’t know anyone. I eat well, I go on walks, I have a bike… I try to take care of myself. I don’t drink here. Some people might find this boring, but I wake up at 9 in the morning and I’m in bed by 11 at night. I take care of myself… As for Moscow, that’s my favorite city in the whole world! I never want to celebrate Christmas at home, so in December 2016 I spent 3 weeks there, recording while eating Russian food." As a result, Tricky invited several Russian rappers onto the tracks to join his descent into hell. Among them we find Scriptonite, MC on Blood Of My Blood and Same As It Ever Was, as well as Vasily Vakulenko, one of the most popular rappers in the country who composed the beat for The Only Way. The rapper Smoky Mo makes an appearance on Bang Boogie, a track composed by Gazgolder, the owner of one of the biggest Russian rap labels. Tricky clearly doesn’t speak russian. "I don’t need to understand what they rap. I feel it. They live each day like it’s their last, and I like that." All this hardly stops the ex-member of Massive Attack from bringing back some past collaborators, from Francesca Belamonte to Asia Argento and even his ex Martina Topley-Bird… Between dark new wave, subdued trip-hop, avant-garde rap and numbed rock, Ununiform is an MRI scan into the complex brain of a musician who’s never stuck for ideas.
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Trip Hop - Released May 27, 2013 | False Idols

Finished with his recording obligations with Domino, Tricky sounds refreshingly relaxed and grounded for his 2013 release False Idols. Two decades after the release of his breakout release, Maxinquaye, an album that skyrocketed the ripe 18-year-old into the limelight and the public eye, he takes issue with the concept of celebrity. Being that trip-hop has fallen in and out of fashion, Tricky's musical (and acting) career has seen extreme ups and downs, so he has first-hand experience with the trappings of fame. Former L.A. connections led to some misguided, obligatory team-ups, like working with the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Live's Ed Kowalczyk, for instance, so it's a relief to see him on a musical path where he is paired with artists who are cut from the same cloth. The most high-profile guest appearance involves the Antlers' Peter Silberman on a reworking of his indie band's song "Parenthesis," which updates the original by transforming the lush Radiohead soundscape into a stark beat and a Yeah Yeah Yeahs-styled guitar riff. It arguably improves on the original. However, the best songs on False Idols involve new vocal collaborators Francesca Belmonte, Fifi Rong, and Nneka Egbuna. Their seductive voices are reminiscent of Tricky's earlier work with Martine or Elizabeth Fraser, and when paired with beats that feel fresh in 2013, but are also based in the expected '90s Bristol dubby atmospherics and trip-hop beats, songs like "Is That Your Life," "If Only I Knew," and "Tribal Drums" stand up with his career highs. Occasionally parts of the album get bogged down with spirituality ("Passion of the Christ" and Van Morrison's "Somebody's Sins") -- which isn't surprising, because conceptually, Tricky seems to be doing some soul-searching -- but the running time is long, and at least three quarters of the album is top-shelf. © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1996 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Maxinquaye was an unexpected hit in England, launching a wave of similar-sounding artists, who incorporated Tricky's innovations into safer pop territory. Tricky responded by travelling to Jamaica to record Pre-Millennium Tension, a nervy, claustrophobic record that thrives in its own paranoia. Scaling back the clattering hooks of Maxinquaye and slowing the beat down, Tricky has created a hallucinatory soundscape, where the rhythms, samples, and guitars intertwine into a crawling procession of menacing sounds and disembodied lyrical threats. Its tone is set by the backward guitar loops of "Vent," and continued through the shifting "Christiansands," and the tense, lyrically dense "Tricky Kid," easily Tricky's best straight rap to date. Occasionally, the gloom is broken, such as when the shimmering piano chords of "Makes Me Want to Die" ring out, but nearly as often, it becomes bogged down in its own murk, as in the long ragga rant "Ghetto Youth." While the lyrics are often quite effective in conveying dope-addled paranoia, what ties the album together is its layered rhythms and soundscapes. Though it might not sound that way immediately, Pre-Millennium Tension is as much Tricky reaching back to his hardcore rap roots as it is a sonic exploration. As such, it stands as a transition record for Tricky, but its overall effect is only slightly less powerful than Maxinquaye or Nearly God. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 22, 2016 | False Idols

Like his 1996 LP Nearly God, Tricky's 2016 release Skilled Mechanics falls somewhere between a proper artist album and a side project. Collaborators are heavy in the mix, many of them coming from the trip-hop survivor's label, False Idols, but if this LP was just meant to pimp the roster, then confessional masterpieces like "Boy" ("At 12 I met my dad, his name was "Roy"/He forget my name, he call me "Boy") wouldn't be dropped here. A wistful and indie-influenced tune with Luke Harris crooning most of it, the highlight "How's Your Life" is another personal journey as Tricky realizes his homebody style and middle age nature mean friends slowly drift away, but in true Nearly God fashion, this is also a spiritually free album, so don't be shocked when Porno for Pyros' "Diving Away" gets a two-minute, loose run-through with a thumb piano driving the melody. "Beijing to Berlin" is mostly a tribute to its guest artist, Chinese rapper and producer Ivy, as a hyped-up Tricky gets dope-boy fresh and spits "She's amazing, She's amazing," and then with the cold force of Dr. Dre, "She's from Beijing." Other tracks find the MC mumbling over Luke Harris and DJ Milo's indie electronica songs. Many of the cuts run somewhere in the two-minute range when they could be stretched further and yet the Massive Attack-like riffs and fantastic production ideas flow through every track. The whole thing comes off as an imaginary Tricky radio station where the DJ plays his own stuff and mixes himself into other artist's tracks, so if alternate views and unclassifiable collections are desired, Skilled Mechanics isn't a lark or a side project but a necessity. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released March 12, 2021 | False Idols

Trip Hop - Released March 6, 2020 | False Idols

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Trip Hop - Released July 2, 2001 | Anti - Epitaph

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Trip Hop - Released May 19, 2003 | Anti - Epitaph

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Trip Hop - Released July 7, 2008 | Domino Recording Co

Is the year 2008 a Bristol revival? First there's a new Portishead recording (Third), their first in over a decade, then Massive Attack finishes a new album (Weather Underground) and curates the Meltdown festival, and finally, Tricky's released his finest record since Pre-Millennium Tension. Knowle West Boy is named for the Council Estates housing project neighborhood Tricky grew up in. This set is not shrouded in mystery: it's autobiographical. It's the first album of well-crafted songs he's come up with since Maxinquaye (but doesn't sound a thing like it). As has been his wont since early on, Tricky also employs a host of other vocalists here for the sake of expressing more complex emotions, and also toward spinning a more complete -- if sometimes complex -- narrative. Rage and paranoia haven't been replaced so much as they've been extrapolated upon and expanded by humor, joy, bravado, and an authentic vulnerability and sense that the personal is political, as this set deals straight on with issues of race and class without even remotely preaching. That said, it's a down and dirty musical beat collision that combines punk, reggae, funk, pop, and hip-hop and hard rock in a wicked brew that is focused and in your face. The set begins with a lounge-blues soundscape that evokes the late-night feel of Barry Adamson at his sleaziest. It explodes about a minute in, strutting its scrappy big band against Fripp-ian guitars, a cracking distorted snare, and cymbal thuggery. The cool thing is in its humor. Tricky plays a lounge lizard boasting about himself to a young woman (Alex Mills) who hands it back to him on a funhouse mirror. The first single, "Council Estate," is a furious punk anthem created as a football-style chant set to a post-punk bassline, with big menacing kick drums, staggered reverb vocals, and Tricky letting the pride in his upbringing come to the fore. It's a breathless two-and-a-half minutes, but it's the best thing here. "Past Mistake" is reminiscent of the torch song duet balladry of Nearly God's "Poems," a tune Tricky performed with Terry Hall and Martina Topley-Bird. "Bacative" employs a ragged punk-charged ragga, and features toaster Rodigan (a New Yorker of West Indian origin). He begins his toast to a plucked cello, drum loops, snares, tambourines, and a set of hi-hat cymbals that shimmer above the bassline. "Joseph" is titled for a young man who does the vocals. The use of harp, hand drums, vibes, and a synthed bassline is strangely atmospheric and haunting. "Veronika" features vocals by French-Moroccan vocalist Lubua; it commences with a slew of distorted beats and tom-tom loops that feel like a military march; her voice is anything but, however. She expresses hurt, heartbreak, and anger brought about by the absent subject. She is also present on the haunting ballad "School Gates" that closes the set; a haunting ballad about a teen pregnancy told from both male and female points of view. "C'Mon Baby" is a rockist thumper that evokes AC/DC with beats! There is also a cover here of Kylie Minogue's "Slow." Whereas the original is all sleek, sensual, and inviting, Tricky inverts the song's meaning by becoming a sleazy, macho Lothario narrating. Knowle West Boy is not another Maxinquaye (it doesn't try, either) but it is a very strong, accessible set that puts his renewed creativity on display in a blur of sound and color. It not only re-establishes him as a pioneer, but as an engaging personae who isn't hiding behind his sonic palette anymore; his music is all the better for it. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 2001 | Hollywood Records

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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1999 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Tricky's potential once seemed boundless, but by the time of his fifth album, Juxtapose, he hadn't expanded his trademark sound: a creeping, menacing blend of hip-hop, alternative rock, and ragga, all delivered with stoned paranoia. Perhaps Tricky realized that its rewards were smaller with each subsequent album, since he designed Juxtapose to be his most ambitious, eclectic album since Maxinquaye, and the one that finally broke him to the mainstream American hip-hop audience. So, he teamed with DJ Muggs (the architect of Cypress Hill's sound, a clear precedent for Tricky's) and DMX's producer, Grease. The end result is hardly a collaboration -- in fact, it feels truncated, weighing in at a mere 35 minutes -- but it works in other ways, since Tricky often seems revitalized. That much is evident on the stellar opening cut, "For Real"; the music is spaced-out, sexy, melodic, and appealing, even when it gets foreboding. It's a terrific beginning, suggesting that this will be the first album to offer significant variations on Tricky's signature sound. And it does, but it may not go far enough for some tastes, since a good portion of this brief album is devoted to retreads, which reveal his weaknesses all too well. Tricky remains unduly infatuated with ragga, letting British toaster Mad Dog run wild; his frenetic delivery single-handedly breaks the spell of each track he's featured on. But elsewhere, Tricky pushes forward in inventive ways that add weight to Juxtapose -- "Contradictive" is his best pop move to date, blessed by Spanish guitars and elongated strings; the paranoid drums of "She Said" successfully deepen the menace; and "Scrappy Love" is a haunting blend of soul and trip-hop, with eerie piano reminiscent of DJ Shadow. Juxtapose is a qualified success, but it is a success since the moments that work are his best in years. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1998 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Perhaps Maxinquaye was such a startling, focused, brilliant debut that Tricky's subsequent albums would have paled in comparison, regardless of their quality. Nevertheless, his desire to distance himself from the coffeehouse trip-hop that appeared after Maxinquaye forced him into a dark, paranoid corner. Determined to strip away all of his fair-weather fans, he delivered the claustrophobic Pre-Millennium Tension, a paranoid record that its follow-up, Angels With Dirty Faces, mirrors. Since it builds upon Pre-Millennium instead of breaking new ground, Angels may strike some listeners as merely a retread, but it gradually reveals new layers upon repeated listens. Tricky has been redefining his rhythms, adding skittering jungle loops and hardcore hip-hop beats to his trademark dub-warped trip-hop. On top of that, he's expanding his sonic palette, adding cheap synthesizers and avant-garde guitarists to create a nightmarish junk-pile of hip-hop, dub, electronica, rock, and gospel. Again, Martina is on board and her stylish croon adds moments of relief to the enveloping dread, as does Polly Harvey on the odd gospel-tinged "Broken Homes." Specific tracks work well individually -- "Mellow," "Singing the Blues," "Angels With Dirty Faces," and the absurd, bile-ridden "Record Companies," in particular -- but on the whole Angels With Dirty Faces is less than the sum of its parts. By being slightly different but essentially the same as Pre-Millennium Tension, Angels With Dirty Faces demands that listeners meet it on its own terms. Whether they'll want to is another matter entirely. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1998 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Perhaps Maxinquaye was such a startling, focused, brilliant debut that Tricky's subsequent albums would have paled in comparison, regardless of their quality. Nevertheless, his desire to distance himself from the coffeehouse trip-hop that appeared after Maxinquaye forced him into a dark, paranoid corner. Determined to strip away all of his fair-weather fans, he delivered the claustrophobic Pre-Millennium Tension, a paranoid record that its follow-up, Angels With Dirty Faces, mirrors. Since it builds upon Pre-Millennium instead of breaking new ground, Angels may strike some listeners as merely a retread, but it gradually reveals new layers upon repeated listens. Tricky has been redefining his rhythms, adding skittering jungle loops and hardcore hip-hop beats to his trademark dub-warped trip-hop. On top of that, he's expanding his sonic palette, adding cheap synthesizers and avant-garde guitarists to create a nightmarish junk-pile of hip-hop, dub, electronica, rock, and gospel. Again, Martina is on board and her stylish croon adds moments of relief to the enveloping dread, as does Polly Harvey on the odd gospel-tinged "Broken Homes." Specific tracks work well individually -- "Mellow," "Singing the Blues," "Angels With Dirty Faces," and the absurd, bile-ridden "Record Companies," in particular -- but on the whole Angels With Dirty Faces is less than the sum of its parts. By being slightly different but essentially the same as Pre-Millennium Tension, Angels With Dirty Faces demands that listeners meet it on its own terms. Whether they'll want to is another matter entirely. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 2002 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

It's not sequenced in chronological order, but that's about the only flaw with Island's 2002 compilation, A Ruff Guide. Over the course of 17 tracks, the highlights from Tricky's Island albums unspool, hitting every single and many of the great album tracks (including cuts from the Nearly God album). Although this may seem like it'd be just for the fellow travelers -- the kind of casual fan that just wants the hits -- this is actually a very useful compilation for those that followed his career closely, since Tricky's albums after his brilliant debut Maxinquaye grew more erratic with each release. Therefore, this collection works really well as a collection of the moments where Tricky flashed his brilliance on uneven albums ("Broken Homes," "Tricky Kid," "For Real," among them). Yes, Maxinquaye is the masterpiece -- one of the great, defining albums of the '90s -- but as a summary of his uneven career this is excellent. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Tricky in the magazine
  • Tricky goes East
    Tricky goes East On Skilled Mechanics which came out in 2016, Adrian Thaws (a.k.a. Tricky) never emerged from the darkness. The same is true for Ununiform, his thirteenth album that he published a year later. Disc after disc, the British artists reminds us that he is without a doubt the most gifted painter/singer...