Angels With Dirty Faces



by OrbDragon USER (34 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 3 replies

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Tricky is known as one of the big pioneers of the "Bristol sound"...the trip-hop branch that produced bands like Portishead, Massive Attack and Sneaker Pimps. He was once a part of Massive Attack and "The Wild Bunch", but quit them because of musical differences. In my opinion he was the most talented member of TWB. Many regard "Maxinquaye" as his best work...but personally I think that cd is just a dark version of the triphop sound that Massive Attack has produced.

"Angels With Dirty Faces" is IMO his best work. It's one of the most original cd's I've ever heard. It has a very raw, dark, brooding sound...sometimes the songs get so inaccessible that it sounds like an improv track. It doesn't sound like trip-hop at all. I love the kind of feels like a rock cd, with organic drums (with lots of interesting beats), fragile guitar soundscapes and deep basslines. The only flaw of the album is that the songs can get a bit repetitive. It's just brilliant other that that.

01 Money Greedy
This is a great starts with a simple bass intro, but it's attacked by funky guitar riffs and Tricky's english accented vocals. Then the haunting soundscapes and dynamic drum beat comes in. Amazing! At one point the songs fades a bit in tranquility and Tricky speaks the PJ Harvey lyrics "Oh My Lover, don't you know it's allright, you can lover her, you can love me at the same time." A strange falsetto vocal riff echoes in the background as the beat intensifies. The song breaks in an almost ambient manner with a synth riff being the main melody. The song ends with Tricky mumbling "first my body, now my corpse". 4.5/5

02 Mellow
This is a cover song (by who I can't recall). The great thing about this track is the's got a really cool groovy beat with all kind of of little licks in there, as well as percussion. A very fragile out of tune guitar riff carries out with a strange soundscapes that sounds like a vacuum cleaner is scratching the turntables. Tricky's attempt actually sing on this song gives it a very dark sensual feeling...this is the perfect track to play while having sex. Nice stuff, despite it's repetition. 4/5

03 Singing The Blues
In this track,the female vocalist Martina is introduced on the album. Before she got solo she was Tricky full-time collaborator. It starts with vocals and a low key guitar synths riff thing. It's got a cool break-beat. If you hear closely, you even have a very low keyed saxophone riff in this song. Repetitive song...but definately not horrible. 3/5

04 Broken Homes
This is one of the most interesting rewarding listens I have experienced. It has a very strange melody, with a slow marching snare drum beat. It's strangely beautiful and haunting when a gospel choir comes in and sing "those men will break your bones, don't know how to build stable homes". Then a female vocalist comes in...and not just a female vocalist. It's PJ Harvey, and this was the actually the song that introduced me to her. She sings in a very high tones, lush voice here, with her english accent exposed. At one point Tricky does backing vocals. The verse has some dreamy synth samples. My favorite part is when the beat stops for a moment and PJ sings "to scared to leave, to quick to die". This song has one of the strangest moods's a very depressing track. At one point the riff from Tricky's other Maxinquaye "Strugglin'" is re-used. Gorgeous how the choir harmonizes before the song fades out. Really good stuff. 5/5

05 6 Minutes
Starts with a distorted sound and a males voice (can't make out what he says)...anyway, that song breaks open with a drum'n bass beat and a single low-keyed piano chord. Martina's vocal riff works really well. Than, it goes into a really cool hip-hop-ish beat as the piano and a distorted vocal riff carry on...and Tricky starts to rap. This song sounds totally's one of those tracks you want to hear loud through the speakers when you are at a party. Now and then some random guitar licks surface and descent back into the bassline and drums. I love the volatile mood of the track. The song ends with the same break beat at in the intro. 4.5/5

06 Analyze Me
Starts with some jungle percussion and a drum beat. Tricky's vocals come in, as well as a smooth bassline. I love Martina's vocals on this song...very sensual. The music is a bit in repetition...but I like the odd nature of the upbeat melody combined with dark creepy background samples. 3/5

07 The Moment I Feared
A cover of some hip-hop song I think. Tricky turned it into some kind of Roni Size-sounding drum&bass track. This song is nowhere nearly as good as Tricky's cover of Public Enemy's "Black Steel". If you cover a hip-hop song into a different musical style, it's important have some sort of progression. 2.5/5

08 Talk To Me
This is as close to elevator music as it comes in this album. Tricky and Martina vocals sound as if they are singing to a steady beat. Instead, the beat is out of sync with the vocals, consisting of various stingle stroke snare drum hits. The bassline sounds more in synch with the vocals...while some creepy avantgarde samples stir up the chaos even more. A very daring track....dark, creepy, slithers like some sort of snake. I like the ending with the ethnic flute...I wish that part would last a bit longer...than the track would be worth it. 3/5

09 Carriage For Two
It starts with a riff that has a vely solitary mood. As Tricky's dark whispering voice exclaims "water" as the first word of the lyrics, you immediately picture an image of someone strolling through the desert as dawn falls. The lyrics are pretty crappy...but I really like the drumming on this song. It's another really dark song...with avantgarde violins/cello's, fragile guitar licks and electric piano's. I absolutely love Martina's vocals here as well...some day I'm going to review her solo album as well. Not most the accessible song...but still, very good. 4/5

10 Demise
Starts with African percussion a bassdrum, and a strange riff. Tricky raps with a higher tone in his voice. I love the contra's fits the song well. It's got a tranquil part in de midst of the song...and as Martina begins to sing, the contrabass is replaced by a bass guitar. The song sounds like a combination of jazz, hip-hop and worldbeat on acid. 3.5/5

11 Tear Out My Eyes
This is as trippy as it gets on this album. The there is lots of deformed melodies and turntable scratching. This is Tricky's spoken vocals are very much in the foreground of the song...and the rest of the music almost sounds like background music to his vocals. It's a really ugly, messy track. Try listening to this while yer drunk :p 3/5

12 Record Companies
This is another really trippy track. The song title signifies that the song is about the corperate music industry. The song has some technical drumming that reminds me a bit of Danny Carey. Electronic samples and guitar soundscapes spiral throughout the musical piece. Every now and then a vocal The bassline is what keeps everything attached. Tricky speaks his lyrics in a very muffed/unclear way...sometimes hard to make out...which somehow adds alot to the volatile mood of the track. Very repetitive, but it sounds really cool. 4/5

It's not the most accessible of records...and for fans of progressive music not recommended. But if you like to hear music that sounds original, trippy and dark, this might be a good choice. I like this record because it flows well and is hard to really classify. Despite a slight lack of consistency, the high points on this album outweigh the things that it lacks. That something that's hard tosay about Tricky's more recent material.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 18th 2004


Good review, though I've only heard one song by Tricky. He's on my list of artists to check out further (honestly), it's just that there are several dozen others before him.

May 6th 2006


Good review. Sorry to see this is the only Tricky review on the site.

June 14th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5


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