Album: Tricky, Mixed Race, Domino

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The Independent Culture

Tricky's ninth album is his best in ages, maybe since Maxinquaye.

Now resident in Paris, he seems to have found a way of channelling all his tributary influences – which now include Algerian rai and electro-disco – into a series of much stronger, more direct grooves than before, sheltering his characteristic murmur behind striking, assertive lead singers. It's a varied bunch of styles: "Every Day" resembles David Essex's "Rock On" with its itchy guitar and handclap beat; "Murder Weapon" pitches Echo Minott's gun boast over a swaggering "Peter Gunn" motif; and "Come to Me" oozes swampy guitar and horns over a lazy R&B slouch. Best of all is the autobiographical "Early Bird", where Tricky reviews his shady past over a squirming groove whose brushed jazz snare and muted noir horns recall Barry Adamson's aural cinescapes.

DOWNLOAD THIS Early Bird; Come to Me; Every Day; Murder Weapon