Tricky - Vulnerable

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  • Tricky is back with his sixth studio album and this time he's Vulnerable as the album's title would suggest, and why? According to the kid himself, Vulnerable is his most honest album to date - he's let it all out - and this time he's left the long list of collaborators behind from Blowback and stripped his team down to two people, himself and female vocalist Costanza. Keeping true to his Bristolian trip hop roots, Vulnerable maintains that deep, smoky feel much like Massive Attack yet has a more sinister edge that always made Tricky stand out from the trio. Tracks like Stay which opens the album, Car Crash and the even moodier Hollow, signals Tricky's return to 1995's Maxinquaye, with Tricky and Costanza swapping verses and lines providing that stark constrast between, sultry female vocals and Tricky's deep growling spoken words. Tricky's not one to disclude the pop/crossover factor, with the radio accessible Antimatter and the even more uptempo Ice Pick - both should be able to gain Vulnerable some mainstream attention. The latter tune reminiscent of the uptempo tunes done on Juxtapose alongside DJ Muggs and Grease thanks to the syncopated breakbeats and 100-miles-an-hour vocals. Vulnerable even re-visits the nu-age metal tunes from Blowback on songs like How High with hard rock guitars providing that aggressive edge making Costanza's voice sound more suited to backup vocals for Marilyn Manson. Of course a Tricky album isn't complete without a cover or two (who could forget his cover of Public Enemy's Black Steel) and The Cure's Love Cats gets the trip hop treatment this time and it's been transformed from an 80's disco track into a weed induced lounge tune. Vulnerable shows that Tricky's prepared to re-do an album like Maxinquaye all over again, this time in a 2003 context, yet he's also willing to incorporate the techniques he's learned over the years on other albums such as Blowback and Juxtapose. Falling a little short of the magnificence that was Maxinquaye, Vulnerable is still a decent album that fans should be able to quickly lap up.