tue 09/08/2022

CD: Tricky - Adrian Thaws | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Tricky - Adrian Thaws

CD: Tricky - Adrian Thaws

Dark sounds from Bristol maverick keep hitting the spot

The Tricky Kid burns with passion

Tricky has consistently displayed the genius of the self-taught DIY music magician and his latest album, a varied collection of sounds sombre, mysterious, melancholy and ceaselessly surprising, proves his continued worth as one of the most creative of the ground-breaking musicians who emerged from Bristol in the 1990s.

In giving the album his real name, “Adrian Thaws”, he once again proclaims his mixed-raced roots, the Knowle West boy who turned his wounds – the loss of his poet mother when he was a young child, asthma and eczema so serious he was often kept away from school – into a source of musical inspiration. Tricky’s music, laden with subtle detailing that never fails to unsettle, feels as if it has been squeezed out of a very hard place. There is pain, anger and violence in there, all of them filtered through the lens of his instinctive creativity. There isn’t a trace of self-pity, just a dedication to being himself, scars and all.

The opening song 'Sun Down' shows Tricky at his most mercurial and playful

Tricky has always explored his androgynous nature through a series of muse-vocalists – Francesca Belmonte, the soft-toned successor, way down the line to Martina Topley-Bird. The tense inner dialogue that plays out on so many of his songs, between his whispered threat-laden male public persona and his ultra-sensual female counterpart isn’t a trope that Tricky tried and left behind: this is the lasting form of his poetic voice. On the unstoppable “Gangster Chronicle” he is also joined by a different kind of muse, Bella Gotti, formerly known as Nolay, one of the fiercest female MC’s on the block.

The opening song “Sun Down”, with vocals from young talent Tirzah shows Tricky at his most mercurial and playful, subverting his own beats with a rich pallette of sonic surprises.

The interplay between vulnerability and violence that has characterized Tricky’s music from Maxinquaye on, is featured on “Nicotine Love” – a song with an almost pop sensibility, and “Palestine Girl” a haunting collaboration with cutting-edge producer Blue Daisy. Once again, Tricky has drawn on his wide-ranging roots and produced a work of surprising variety, yet held together by a profound artist’s sensibility.

There isn’t a trace of self-pity, just a dedication to being himself, scars and all


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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I agree with this author. Tricky manages to utilise the frequencies to articulate his intentions without clashing about. It's clear and mindful. I think Adrian Thaws is a more tight and sophisticated progression of False Idols which in turn was a more tight sophisticated Maxinquaye. It's top stuff.

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