Tricky - Maxinquaye

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2003-08-25

Adrian Thaws (aka Tricky), one of the key components of Massive Attack around the time of their important Blue Lines album, seemed to find more space to explore his fears, loves and neuroses as a solo artist on this, his debut release, which is also something of a classic itself. Whilst the Massive Attack sound is a standard one of dub basses, Tricky gains greater contrast with his smoky vocals by utilising a disjointed, handmade mix of sounds, from hard noise ("Black Steel") to marimba-like plonks ("Ponderosa") and slow-beat joints ("Brand New You're Retro"). Here, alongside vocalist and one-time partner Martina Topley Bird, Tricky is able to maintain a sense of perspective lost in later works--the recording sounds positive and instructive, as if they were happy just to make a good album. Named after his mother, Maxin, who committed suicide when Thaws was six, there is just the right level of paranoia in the claustrophobia of his rhymes, creating a musical document that sounds homespun and satisfying. --Charlie Porter

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