Picks and Pans Review: Pre-Millennium Tension
With his brilliant, critically heralded 1995 U.S. debut, Maxinquaye, Tricky, the 28-year-old British producer and rapper whose real name is Adrian Thaws, helped popularize trip hop, the slow and languid hybrid of hip hop and dance-club music. At the same time, it made Tricky, a former member of the English trip-hop group Massive Attack, an international pop sensation. Like Maxinquaye, which Tricky named after his late mother, this second effort is as intense and unsettling as it is intriguing. Tricky raps in a flat, deadpan style that contrasts sharply with the seething aural collages he creates by mixing elements of reggae, the blues and hip hop. Granted, Tricky's brand of trip hop is not for everyone. But if you enjoy hearing pop's boundaries pushed, Pre-Millennium Tension is an oddly satisfying experience. (Island)
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