Tricky - Mixed Race

by Rich Morris Rating:7 Release Date:2010-09-27

After the widely acclaimed return to form of Knowle West Boy comes this vibrant, varied and disconcertingly upbeat (relatively speaking) offering from the perennially mercurial Tricky. While it doesn't contain anything as jaw-dropping as its predecessor's electro-popping, heavy-riffing cover of Kylie's 'Slow', the music on Mixed Race is constantly inventive, while remaining very Tricky.

It's also a record which lives up to its title, being consistently multicultural and skipping from genre to genre. From the opening hushed blues of 'Every Day' to the closing grimy squelch of 'Bristol to London', which features his younger brother Marlon Thaws and acknowledges the West Indian influences on both cities, Mixed Race is constantly shifting and moving.

Unusually for a Tricky album, Mixed Race is even at home on the dance floor. Second track, the funky and fresh 'Kingston Logic' showcases the powerfully confident vocals of female Jamaican vocalist Terry Lynn. However, it also features a downbeat moment where Tricky snarls "It's not a fucking love song". So things haven't changed all that much; this is still the same commendably, is exasperatingly, stubborn Tricky. The swinging, gently unfurling jazz of 'Early Bird' completes a very satisfying opening musical triptych.

Elsewhere, we get spooked r'n'b and metal riffs on 'Ghetto Stars', beautiful minimalist electro balladry on 'Time to Dance', John Foxx urban paranoia meets Massive Attack urban soul on 'Really Real' and even a flash of surf rock on single 'Murder Weapon', a cover of Echo Minott's 1992 dancehall hit.

All in all, this album should continue the rehabilitation of Tricky's critical reputation nicely. Another album of this quality and he'll be well on his way to being something akin to UK hip hop's Lou Reed.

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