Angels With Dirty Faces (Island)
Tricky may not be the inventor of trip-hop, but this Bristol producer is vertainly steering the ship. Each of his releases has successfully redirected the genre's sound, traversing down avenues more sinister, dark and alluring than anything before it. Angels With Dirty Faces, his fourth full-length, makes his earlier releases sound cheery and effervescent by comparison: His gothic raps have grown gruffer, his beats more menacing, and his soulful, jazzy musical backdrops more haunting and mysterious. On each of the album's 12 tracks, Tricky takes the listener deeper into his underworld, a dank realm full of funky demons and dismal divas. Longtime partner Martina Topley-Bird serves as the disc's main chanteuse and her honey-coated words are a stark contrast to Tricky's devilish growl. Alternative siren Polly Jean Harvey guests on "Broken Homes," but it's Tricky who always remains the album's centerpiece whether he's seducing your ears with his gritty Bristol accent or manipulating the sound into the creepiest urban symphony. This dreary, disjointed trip-hop masterpiece deservers all the acclaim it will undoubtedly receive 
-- M. Tye Comer
"Angels..." presskit
more album reviews