Tricky – Knowle West Boy

September 16, 2008

The title of the latest album from Tricky, Knowle West Boy, is a nod to the area of Bristol, England, that he grew up in, and the album itself is a reflection on youth, though I didn’t see it as a concept album by any means, nor is it necessarily nostalgic or sentimental. It is, however, one of the most satisfying albums I’ve heard from him in years, an expert mixture of electronic, rock, pop and world music elements, some with his trademark raspy vocals, and others duets or else guest vocals by a host of talented collaborators. Some of the tracks fall flat, at least to my ears, like “C’Mon Baby,” but in general it’s a heady, highly listenable trip that memorably evokes the spirit, joy and anxiety of youth. Standout cuts: “Puppy Toy,” “Bacative,” “Council Estate” and “Past Mistake.”


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