As the latest addition to Tricky's ever-mounting mammoth back-catalogue, Ununiform is an intricate offering which amounts to his furthest lefturn yet. 13 tracks long, the record firmly cements the British producer's status at legendary - if it wasn't already. Avoid this musical journey at your peril.
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It was only 2016 when I was sat here in this very chair writing about his last album 'Skilled Mechanics'. If I remember correctly I really enjoyed it, impressed by Tricky's hushed vocal style. Well a year and a bit later i'm listening to another effort which is just as dark and swirling but lacks the particular quiet intensity of 'Skilled Mechanics'. Once again it's collab heavy (with mixed results) in fact only one track lacks a collaborator. Though this has the effect of diluting Tricky's music and pulling away his particular dark character certain tracks really work well. Particularly good is 'New Stole' with an excellent lead vocal turn from Francesca Belmonte and Tricky whispering away in the background.
On 'Wait for Signal' he takes the lead on a track which wonderfully evokes the dark trip hop of '90s Bristol - the press release claims that the difference between this album and other Tricky albums is that he's now happy - yet there's no lightness to be heard here. These are the usual dark murmurings from the abyss, his vocals are often barely audible and on the sweet and rather grandiose ballad 'The Only Way' is sounds like he's barely able to open his mouth. It's this idiosyncracy though that stops the album drifting towards inconsequence - Tricky always has some trick up his sleeve to pull things back. He re-teams with old sparring partner Martina Topley-Bird on album closer 'When We Die' but this is pretty smooth stuff compared to what they used to get up to.
Another Tricky album that contains interesting moments without knocking my head clean off. No change then.
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