Tricky – Knowle West Boy

The dark side of trip-hop returns after a five year break. In half the time it took Portishead to perfect their comeback record, Tricky returns with his and though Portishead had developed their sound somewhat with Tricky its business as usual which is no bad thing because there’s no one else that sounds like this. Heavy doom laden beats, breathed vocals a mix of Tricky low and a female high, base lines that struggle to keep up with the free styling it feels like we have had this record for so long. Songs like ‘Superstar’ and ‘Coalition’ take you right back to the early days of ‘Maxinquaye’ and album opener ‘Puppy Toy’ suggest he may have a sense of humour somewhere and that he has perhaps been listening to the Streets or Lady Sovereign while away. The beats are multilayered and underneath you can hear the ghosts of strings and sitars as the lyrics float higher with messages of peace, love, anti-war and not forgetting your roots, something that he has clearly not done. A crowning moment here is his bold and brash version of Kylies ‘slow’ which sounds like its been sodomised so far from its original it will never find its way back, its dirty and funky and ultimately filthy fun. Elsewhere like on track ‘Baligaga’ he embraces a supped up reggae that wouldn’t be out of place on Leftfield’s ‘Leftism. So after ‘Third’ and now ‘Knowle West Boy’ if Massive Attack’s eagerly awaited next is as good, the Bristol holy trinity is once again complete and on top form.

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