Album: Tricky, Knowle West Boy (Domino)

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The Independent Culture

After five years spent in New York and LA, Tricky comes home to Bristol, in mind if not in body. Knowle West is the "white ghetto" where he was born, and his eighth album is deeply autobiographical, notably on the single "Council Estate" and "School Gates", a pedal steel-backed tale of teen pregnancy. Not that it's entirely self-absorbed: "Coalition", for example, tackles American imperialism head-on. With the help of producer Bernard Butler, he's accomplished greater versatility than ever, from the Iceberg Slim-esque narrative of "Puppy Toy" to the mangled rock of "C'mon Baby", from the sun-dappled "Joseph" to a cover of Kylie's "Slow".

Pick of the Album: 'Remember boy, you're a superstar...': 'Council Estate'