The search is still on…

tricky WPWhile still dirty, dark and rich, Tricky doesn’t offer any surprises on his eleventh album. “This is my club/hip hop album,” Tricky has said in a press release. “I’ve only heard my music a few times in a club but I grew up in clubs from when I was 14: blues parties, hip hop clubs, a few raves. I’m not known for doing club music but this album has some club tracks on it – well, what I would consider club music.”

Tricky once again uses vocalists from his label, not so much an act of nepotism or promotion as these voices are refreshing, light and airy with traces of the delicacy of former collaborator Martina Topley-Bird. After two very disjointed tracks ‘Something in The Way’ is the first offering to make an impact, flowing gently as pinhead-light percussion strolls hand in hand with hazy late night chords and Francesa Belmonte’s clear voice.

An unnecessary skit disrupts the record before the welcome sounds of electronica and Tricky’s trademark mumbling strike up for ‘Nicotine Love,’ where Belmote thrives again. Bella Gotti appears on the violent ‘Gangster Chronicles’ and again on another ordinary rap joint ‘Why Don’t You’ all jungle beats and synthesised explosions. But peace is restored on the Sunday afternoon reggae trip of ‘Silly Games’, a Janet Kay cover featuring Tirzah, which provides one of the album’s finer moments. The chilled vibe sees out the record as it meanders into nothingness.

It’s less than 12 months since Tricky’s last record False Idols and his creativity has yet to be replenished. Tricky isn’t seeking commercial approval, but his experimentalism needs a clearer focus to create songs which are a little less indulgent. While the album may share a title with the name on Tricky’s birth certificate Adrian Thaws doesn’t sound wholly representative of the man himself. Then again, he also stated that last year’s False Idols LP was about him finding himself again. It seems the search is still on for the real Adrian Thaws.

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