Tricky – Maxinquaye (1995)
Awards are a funny thing.
Forrest Gump is possibly a great movie but I’ll never be able to fully appreciate it: I remain flabbergasted that at the 1995 Academy Awards, the Best Picture card did not feature the text “The Shawshank Redemption.”
That’s ok, they’ll get it right next year…or to paraphrase Britney Spears, oops they did it again: this time my choice (The Usual Supects) wasn’t even nominated!
Surely this madness was limited to the film industry?
Alas, not so much.
Let’s see, best album of the best music year (during my lifetime) that was 1995.
The Bends? Morning Glory? Different Class?
Did you say Maxinquaye? So did NME back in the day.
It’s also worth noting that from that same bounty crop of music, The Grammy Awards for both Record & Song of the year went to Seal’s Kiss From a Rose.
I believe it was Tom Cochrane who sang, it’s a mad, mad world!
After reading some other ratings & reviews, I’m almost afraid to say I wasn’t a fan of Tricky’s debut record: I can’t think of many another albums that were so universally revered!
Which is one of the reasons why I’d like to eventually join my fellow bloggers in writing about my blogging philosophy. The idea of ‘not merely toeing the line’ is an important one for me.
Now of course, Maxinquaye is not an unmitigated disaster.
To be fair, Tricky could be neatly categorized under ‘not my cuppa’ and with NME declaring this superior to a few of my favourite records, my expectations skyrocketed.
I’m certainly not opposed to the genre; I really enjoy Portishead’s Dummy. This one however, is missing a couple of the key ingredients that make Dummy so resonant: the Beth Gibbons vocals & a collection of songs that keeps drawing me back. Whereas Dummy continued (and continues) to grow on me, I didn’t become any more or less enthusiastic about Maxinquaye after repeated listens.
There was the odd standout among the dozen tracks but a part of me has started to become somewhat leery of standout tracks. The reason (to be further demonstrated in review #346) being that if individual tracks leap out, it’s sometimes because the rest of the record was just that: the rest, the remainder.
Here, there are the noteworthy back-to-back tracks 3 & 4 but the rest didn’t really change the world for me.
I guess, by 2014, they ran out of the kool-aid that was being served at those mid-90s awards committee meetings?