Thursday, August 7, 2008

Album Review - Tricky

Tricky – Knowle West Boy
[Domino; 07/07/2008]

Tricky has been the subject of criticism ever since his 1996 landmark debut Maxinquaye. Many believe that he reached the height of his solo career in this period of time and everything else he has written pales in comparison. After a five year hiatus, the Bristol native returns with Knowle West Boy; a literal statement of lyrical venom that pays homage to the estate he grew up in.

Tricky's never been afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and Knowle West Boy probably represents this in the best possible way, shape and form. Once again, the female vocalists (many of whom are on Tricky's Brown Punk label) take the lead and from the opener 'Puppy Toy', a narrative mingle between Tricky and Alex Mills takes place alongside a splashy piano line, setting the tone.

'C'mon Baby' is an upbeat number that possess those emphysematous vocals from Tricky, while lead single 'Council Estate' is a literal tirade of Tricky's adolescence, jam-packed into two minutes and 39 seconds of overloaded sound cuts and a bass fuzz. 'Coalition' continues the lyrical sparks of literal proportions while a cover of Kylie's 'Slow' is also met with a grinding sequence of mental instrumentation.

Tricky was soon becoming the forgotten man, but as always, the discarded always find a way of coming back into the limelight. Tricky is no different, establishing this with with Knowle West Boy. The boy from Bristol has always used different forms of shock tactics to draw attention from the masses to his music. The literal resemblance that his music presents in 2008 may turn certain listeners away, but the fact that they listened in the first place is a victory for the artist, as his point has seemingly being made.

By Simon K

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