Tricky

Mojo (UK) - - News - Andy Cowan

Ununi­form

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.

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