Sunday, October 22, 2017

Gothtober -Tricky : "Ununiform"

Yeah, I am going to file this album under the Gothtober banner, most of the kids who are adults now that were into trip-hop were also goth kids, so here we go. "Pre-Millennium Tension " is the album I always return to by him and lost track of Tricky over the years. The intro seems like business as usual, then there is sung vocal in "Same as It Ever Was" that is poppy in the most indie -hipster way, think Gorillaz or Flaming Lips, so this song doesn't connect with me as strongly as it could if they had gone somewhere else with the vocals. "New Stole" a lazy guitar riff to it. The vocals have a soulful twist to them, it makes me feel like I am in a seedy club in France.

The more subdued "Wait for Signal" is dark enough to work for me with calm shadowy groove and whispered vocals of Asia Argento joining in.  "Its Your Day" is only an actual song for about a minute so it's more of an interlude. "Blood Of My Blood" is almost a ballad , though the drug tinged pulse keeps it from being too sentimental. There is more of a rock feel to the beginning of "Dark Days" but this morphs into 80's sounding new wave. It's driven by a thick synth riff. They return to a more ballad like approach on "the Only Way". Strummed guitar and piano carries the song as Tricky whispers over it, never actually singing. This is a little too straight forward and conventional for him.

The pace picks up for " Armor" . Which somewhat poppy with a strong female vocal courtesy of Terra Lopez, which might be the album's best vocal. What is odd is "Doll" which is a cover of Hole's "Doll Parts".  It's not as wildly re-imagined as it leads you to believe and vocalist Avalon Lurks really doesn't take it anywhere new with what she does.  "Bang Boogie" is another interlude it sounds like the backing track for a Die Antwoord song. "Running Wild" didn't wow or repulse me on first listen, on second listen Mina Rose , who handles the bulk of the female vocals on this album is under stated to the point of being bland. I think the fact that Jay-Z helped produce this album took a lot of the dark edge to it and that is why some of the songs sound sterilized for the radio and bringing the same quality I dislike in the XX's production. The last song embraces his classic sound perhaps the most as it features Martina Topley-Bird. I have to round this down to an 8.5. There are good songs on it , but we know what Tricky is capable of so I expect greatness. If this was some unknown pop artist I might be more impressed.

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