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Tricky: Juxtapose

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (9/2/99, p.110) - 3 stars (out of 5) - "...[brings] back some long-missed hooks and melodies to [Tricky's] bad-mood music....[his] least hip-hop, most-pop album to date....Muggs and Grease's light sets Tricky's shadow in welcome relief."

Spin (9/99, p.187) - 7 out of 10 - "...shows in sonic sonic choices unheard-of for this mansion haunter....Pretty groovy for what feels more like basement tapes than a proper LP..."

Entertainment Weekly (8/20-27/99, p.129) - "...Slighter than usual, but by current rap standards, refreshing enough." - Rating: B

Q (9/99, p.110) - 4 stars (out of 5) - "...JUXTAPOSE [proves] that this particular artistic fire remains stoked and that...he's gamely heading off into the territory of the individualist."

Alternative Press (9/99, p.120) - 3 out of 5 - "...all over the place....most of [JUXTAPOSE] sounds like intuitive variations on the sonic organism he created.

The Wire (8/99, p.58) - "...JUXTAPOSE tries to wipe the smirk off the faces of HipHop playaz who are laughing all the way to the bank....his willingness to confront HipHop's ugliness is laudable....As ever, the kernels of an amazing fusion and a singular vision are audible..."

Muzik (9/99, p.74) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...An entirely uncomfortable listen, for sure. All the same, precisely the record we've all been willing Tricky to make for years."

Vibe (9/99, p.272) - "...his poppiest effort yet....proves why his music has really been hip hop all along....JUXTAPOSE still manages to confound expectations....he throws us a change-up: fresh beats, freestyle breaks, and a playful reluctance to be so damn heavy all the time."

Melody Maker (8/14/99, p.35) - 4 stars (out of 5) - "...this new album is the spliff-addled gutter-poet's finest moment to date. A shattered hip-hop dream. Bleakly comic, furiously romantic..."

Mojo (Publisher) (9/99, p.116) - "...[Tricky] bobs and weaves his way through his most unpredictable, fulfilling album since 1995's MAXINQUAYE....JUXTAPOSE restores [his] credentials as a unique alchemist..."

NME (Magazine) (8/14/99, p.32) - 7 out of 10 - "...the churning murk has been replaced by some semblance of clarity, structure and melody....He's the Mark E Smith of washed-out industrial trip-hop, spewing garbled but sporadically brilliant verbage....There's plenty to enjoy here."

Album Notes

Personnel: Tricky, DJ Muggs, Bob Khaleel, Mad Dog, Kioka (vocals); Reggie Stewart (guitar, keyboards, bass); Reggie House (guitar, bass); Adam 7, Inner Circle (guitar); Rich Keller (bass); Flo (drums).

Producers: Dame Grease, Rich Keller, Tricky, DJ Muggs.

"For Real," JUXTAPOSE's opening cut, might lead one to think that the eternally ominous Tricky had lightened up. Its lush, blissful blend of Seal-like R&B/pop and P.M. Dawn bliss-hop seems miles away from Tricky's usual apocalyptic visions. It's soon business as usual though, as urgently muttered rapping and snaky, angular electric guitar underline the foreboding element of "Boom Boom Diggy," and percolating breakbeats frame "She Said"'s moody keyboards and sinister-sounding vocals.

Tricky is undoubtedly utilizing an expanded sonic palette here, as evidenced by the nylon-string guitar on "Contradictive" and "Wash My Soul," and the heavy metal power chords of "Hot Like A Sauna (Metal Mix)." His aesthetic is as penetrating and uncompromising as ever. With assistance from American hip-hop producers DJ Muggs and Grease, JUXTAPOSE is less intimidating than Tricky's previous efforts, but no less heartfelt or satisfying.


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