FALSE IDOLS. CD/DL/LP
Trip-hop maverick spars with Russian rap royalty, revisits past on 13th studio album.
Tricky has long been a confounding character. For an ever-shifting songwriter who sheds labels as swiftly as they’re applied, his studio aesthetic has changed little since 1995’s career-defining debut Maxinquaye – spare rhythmic arrangements and almost comically throwback synths cushioning that alienated voice, now a battered husk of a scoured whisper. Tricky still mixes it up on Ununiform, tag-teaming with trenchant Kazakhstan rapper Scriptonite on three hard-hitters and belatedly revisiting early standout Hell Is Round The Corner on stringsodden slo-mo stroll The Only Way. Thereafter, Tricky effectively goes missing as sultry vocal proxies Avalon Lurks, Mina Rose and Terra Lopez take the weight, before beautifully briny closer When We Die, with original foil Martina Topley-Bird, reminds us of his peculiar strengths.