Tricky
Maxinquaye


5.0
classic

Review

by Andru Okenuf USER (31 Reviews)
August 7th, 2012 | 36 replies | 2,505 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When an album becomes a way of life

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

"People call me Tricky for particular reason", raps Adrian Thaws (aka Tricky) on the 1991 Massive Attack release Blue Lines. And in 7 words, Tricky describes himself perfectly. Wily and impeccably talented, with a bizarre and convoluted production, Tricky kid is consistently given less credit than he deserves as a pioneer in trip-hop. While the term was coined after the DJ Shadow track "In / Flux" (and his 1996 release, Endtroducing certainly gave him a strong foothold in the genre), the trip-hop movement took off in Bristol in the early '90s. In addition to Blue Lines, Massive Attack improved upon and then perfected the genre's sound with their subsequent releases, 1995's Protection and 1998's Mezzanine. Portishead, another group out of Bristol, captured audiences with their debut LP, 1994's Dummy and subsequent release, 1997's Portishead, but in addition to collaborating with Massive Attack, Tricky was releasing incredible music on his own as well.

"Many Switch in, switch on, switch off", raps Tricky in 'Black Steel' as well as 'Strugglin', and in as few words, Tricky's able to convey a humanity that is absent from his esteemed contemporaries. Adrian Thaws is unstable and insecure; through his lyrically based performances, he is closer to being a traditional hip-hop artist than any other prominent trip-hop man, and listening to what he has to say is much more personal as a result. Paired with his then-girlfriend, Martina Topley-Bird, who provides the trance-like female vocals the genre is known for, the two have a chemistry that is palpable throughout.

Tricky not only uses Martina's voice with perfection, he selects incredible samples to supplement the album as well. Sampling Portishead's 'Glory Box', he adds his own spin on the beat with 'Hell is Round the Corner', rapping: "My brain thinks bomb-like, So I listen he's a calm type. And as I grow, I grow collective. Before the move sit on the perspective." He also has a keen eye for what sounds good together. In 'Brand New You're Retro' he combines samples from Public Enemy and Michael Jackson to get the sound he wants, and has Martina sing a convoluted and mind-bending cover of the former's 'Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos', achieving far more out of the words than could be expected.

There simply are no weak moments on the album, and though parts are grating at first, as it takes time to adjust to Tricky's paranoid view of the world, none are without upside. Tracks like 'Pumpkin' ("I can't breathe and I can't see. Mtv moves too fast, I refuse to understand") are particularly difficult, but once you've come to terms with the way he thinks, a greater appreciation for these tracks in particular emerges. Similarly, just beneath the surface of 'Suffocated Love' lies a beautiful romance that began with the opener 'Overcome'. As easy as it is to gloss over much of the album, reaching an understanding with Thaws is as rewarding a musical experience as any.

Shortly after releasing Maxinquaye, Tricky was angered by the fame he encountered, briefly becoming a shut-in and displaying his more ballistic side in his next two LPs 'Nearly God' and 'Pre-Millenium Tension'. Both have their moments, but neither are as balanced as 'Maxinquaye'. While Tricky's recent resurgence and new direction are improvements upon much of what he did in previous releases, none will be as timeless as his debut. And you should give it a listen.

They wanted me for the army or whatever
Picture me giving a damn I said never




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Comments:Add a Comment 
aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Classic stuff dude

Black Steel ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDHl5djnYM4 )
Ponderosa ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxNjvEf8Al0 )
Suffocated Love ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMl3AMFLB1Y )
Overcome ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V26zxH_JMk )
Hell is Round the Corner ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3bBKTdk2Kk )

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012



4382 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I rather enjoy this guy myself. Good review, POS'd.

also in the last sentence of the first paragraph I think you meant to say "releasing incredible music".

aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

yes i most certainly did -- cheers. congrats on the promo btw, didn't realize you had gotten one as well, but well deserved

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012



4382 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, aokuneff. And excellent work on the review, this needed a 5.

aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this, mezz and dummy or endtroducing tater?

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2012



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Been getting into this quite a bit lately. Rating will probably rise soon enough.

aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

haha nice paperback - album rating: 5 thread =]

aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

until ali ruiinedd it .. =/ (but i think i started this as a 3.5 as well so it's ok for now)

aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

man - my comp must be mad laggy lol

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2012



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oops

Gyromania
August 7th 2012



15200 Comments


good work andy. this is probably m favourite trip-hop album.

breakingthefragile
August 7th 2012



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hell yeah, sweet review. Honestly, this is the only Tricky album I'm into at all, and it's one of my favorite albums ever, and definitely one of the best records ever, let alone one of the best Trip Hop records.

Digging: Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...

ShadowRemains
August 7th 2012



20249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

have had this on my desktop for awhile and still haven't listened yet...

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2012



49801 Comments


This has been rotting in my itunes for over a year

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

aok
August 7th 2012



4314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i mean, i still prefer mezzanine (if we're talking about fav trip-hop albums ever), but this is one of my favorites of any genre.

treb / shadow - give a listen. cheers everyone else

Drsmith4
August 7th 2012



1712 Comments


i still haven't listened to this

time to trip hop again?

breakingthefragile
August 7th 2012



2950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, I'm genuinely surprised at all the people commenting who have yet to hear this album.

mindleviticus
August 7th 2012



8168 Comments


kick ass album andy. I was going to review the new Matthew Dear album soon, but I may not.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012



30882 Comments


kick ass album andy.


Tricky?

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

mindleviticus
August 7th 2012



8168 Comments


Yeah, Tricky. Andy reviewed the album though.



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