thu 01/10/2020

Album: Tricky - Fall to Pieces | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Tricky - Fall to Pieces

Album: Tricky - Fall to Pieces

Moody vignettes transform pain into beauty

Tricky, the bruised, self-proclaimed "mongrel" from Knowle West, South Bristol’s depressed suburb, has created a language of his own: dark and minimalist, with emotions at once raw and blurred.

Tricky, the bruised, self-proclaimed "mongrel" from Knowle West, South Bristol’s depressed suburb, has created a language of his own: dark and minimalist, with emotions at once raw and blurred.

His 14th album treads familiar ground, but his playful exploration of a sound palette that’s as condensed as it’s colourful ensures that the Tricky Kid remains totally original as well as true to himself. His distinct producer’s voice relies on simple means – a careful choice of samples, which often surprise in their contrasting timbre and texture, and instrumental sounds (keyboard and cello) that tread a subtle line between the acoustic and digital.

The tracks are short – mood vignettes rather than fully developed song structures – and switch, for instance, between the anomie and introverted sonic twists and mind-fuck distortion of “Close Now “ to the jauntiness of “Running Off”, a track in which an appealing open bounce dissolves into something much more menacing, which is followed by the more airy and dreamlike quality of “I’m in the Doorway”. Even here, though, there’s a bridge that instantly undermines the surface prettiness of a song’s main theme, carried, as most of the material on this album, by Tricky’s latest vocal muse, Marta Złakowska.  

On “Hate This Pain”, perhaps the album’s stand-out track, Tricky takes the vocal lead and coaxes incredible despair out of very simple lyrics that express without a hint of self-censure the intense suffering that has haunted his psyche since his daughter Mazy died at 24. A piano blues riff, a hint of cello, Złakowska’s gentle voice shadowing his own – spine-chilling!

Tricky has always drawn creative strength from his bare-faced authenticity, an unaffected knack for turning pain and suffering into gold: the songs on this unsettling and yet very moving album thrive on an exquisite use of repetition, motifs that spiral into this unique artist’s wounded heart – winding the listener into the magic of his creative gift.

Tricky has always drawn creative strength from his bare-faced authenticity

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters