Tricky’s debut album ‘Maxinquaye’, released back in 1995 was a stunning debut album that pushed Tricky forward as one of the leading performers in the trip-hop genre. Employing a mixture of slow-grooves, with driving bass-lines and electronic elements, all combined with Tricky’s half-sung/half-spoken vocals, it all established what was expected to be the brilliant sound of his music. It seems Tricky though started off too big too soon, as nearly all of his following albums have severely under-delivered, in terms of living up to the standard that ‘Maxinquaye’ established. Whilst Tricky has certainly displayed innovation and creativity, it seems he’s never been able to deliver an album as strong as his debut release. For his 10th studio album ‘False Idols’, Tricky himself has stated that his latest work is a return to his roots, and thus a return to the sound that was more-or-less lacking on many of his previous albums.
Many of Tricky’s albums have shown some interesting and creative ideas. Each of his albums have always sound brilliantly produced, containing fantastic instrumentals that push along the various albums. However, it seemed the albums fail on sounding like complete album packages. Excluding Tricky’s debut albums, many of his previous works have sounded scrappy in places, with many songs being forgettable and weak. On ‘False Idols’, Tricky addresses many of his problems he’s encountered with his previous works and delivers his best album in many years. Tricky’s return to his roots is one that should have been done a long time ago, though it is better late than never. ‘False Idols’ is follow-up album to ‘Maxinquaye’ that should have been received, with the brilliant instrumentals slyly creeping up in the various songs, pushing forward various feelings ranging from ominous tracks to brilliantly chilled out ones.
There’s some wonderful elements to ‘False Idols’ that works, and it is certainly one of Tricky’s best albums he’s released so far in his career. ‘False Idols’ though is let down by an incredibly shaky start. It takes a fair amount of time for the album to really get into itself, by which time a fair number of songs have actually passed. The opening tracks of the album don’t seem to reach the heights required to make it a great album, though a great number of songs that appear later in the album do just that. The shaky start lets down the album, though it is remarkable how much it manages to redeem itself when it delves deep into its element. The many strengths of the album aren’t apparent at first, which is arguably one of the elements ‘Maxinquaye’ established.
‘False Idols’ is easily Tricky’s best album in years. It is one of his few albums that feels like a complete album package, with only the rocky start being the only let down of the album experience. A great number of the songs work well to present an overall album experience, which has always been a problem with most of Tricky’s albums. There’s some wonderful trip-hop elements present on the album, making it one of the better trip-hop albums to have been produced in recent years. It seems Tricky is finally on the track that he should have been on already, and has now finally started producing the music people have wanted to hear from him. It’s about time!
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
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Tricky’s 10th studio album ‘False Idols’ is set for release on the 28th May 2013.