I love the world you enter whenever there’s a new Tricky album – it’s utterly unmistakable, it’s his own sound, a swirling vortex of post-punk and whatever’s left of trip-hop and always there’s just a hint of a future-sound to whatever he releases. Tricky keeps himself current by a) updating his collaborators, seeking out new, young talent – here it’s in names like Tirzah, Oh Land, Blue Daisy and Nneka – and by b) never giving a shit about actual trends. While you’re managing and mastering the language he’s creating his own. That’s always been the way.
So that means that Adrian Thaws (both his new album’s name and his birth-name, his real name) is very much like a lot of other Tricky albums (Right Here could have been taken from Blowback, Sun Down harks back to Pre-Millennium Tension’s slow creep and Nearly God’s feel and flow) and then there are the little curveball-like moments – the hip-hop bounce to Lonnie Listen which won’t so much win over new fans but don’t quite sound like Tricky as you’ve heard him before.
I like that.
But then, I’m a Tricky fan. I’ve followed him for every album – found something to like even when he wasn’t getting the glowing mentions in the press, even when people seemed to forget about him (but actually he was doing some of his best work – did you check out last year’s False Idols? That was just fine I reckon).
There are no hit-it-out-of-the-park moments here – though I do love the lithe blues groove of KEEP Me In Your Shake and the post-coital pondering of Something In The Way and the throwback 80s club feel of Nicotine Love is a reminder of how good Tricky can be when he aims for the dance-floor.
Plenty to see and hear here, some of it you, most of it just reminders of a unique musical talent. Good enough without ever totally nailing it. Mr Consistency for the most part – and then just enough of the mad and mercurial.