Time Out
Gary Mulholland

The first thing is, this is not, on the surface, and despite, the usual hype, that different to Tricky's 'difficult' recent albums. It is not trip hop. It is not 'Maxinquaye'. 
   Opener 'Excess' will be familiar to those who've stuck with Tricky (1998's 'Angels With Dirty Faces' remaining a nightmarish masterpiece) as he's become increasingly written off as a has-been with a bad attitude. It is a uniquely mutated rock with pianos, guitars and rhythmic effects assembled via hip-hop's collage technique; arrange imagery in Tricky's asthmatic whisper contrasted with Alanis Morissette's (strictly non-yodeling) girly chorus. The difference- the crucial difference- lies in emphasis, mood, and production. Everything is less murky. It glides rather than churns. Your ears are caught by the line 'Now I'm making hits from my child-bearing hips', and you realize that his surreal androgyny is back and the misogynist thug of 'Juxtapose' has thankfully gone. But mostly you realize that Tricky is aware that we're here. Adrian Thaws has stopped accidentally letting us eavesdrop while he beats himself to death.
   All the guest vocalists excel, including Cyndi Lauper and blockey out of the execrable Live, and especially reggaeish new discovery Hawkman. The funk-metal tracks with Red Hot Chili Peppers are- whisper it- fun. The darker, slower tracks are absorbing and hypnotic, giving glimpses of mysterious corners you want to explore further with each listen; and 'Evolution Revolution Love' and 'Give It To Them' are immediately fantastic, as is 'Your Name', which is sweet and touching and reveals a hitherto unknown Tricky fondness for the corny bits of old Steve Martin movies. There is much great writing from a female perspective. 
Tricky is back, and this time - it's personable.

from ANTI

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