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Tricky – Maxinquaye (1995)

September 16, 2014

[Album 345/1001]220px-Tricky_-_Maxinquaye

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 BendsMorning GloryDifferent 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?

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From → 1990s

14 Comments
  1. What?! You didn’t like Forrest Gump?! But life’s a box chocolate and such. Indeed. I never got into Tricky either. I caught a bit if his set at Osheaga last year and heard him do the one song I know and that was enough.

    • Didn’t mind Gump, it’s just not in the same stratosphere as Shawshank!
      That was a good lineup last year too – Vampire weekend & of course the cure are on my to see list!

      • You’re not missing much when it comes to Vampire Weekend. I saw them twice last year and they were nowhere near fulfilling the promise made by their recordings. But yes, Osheaga was awesome last year and The Cure played everything you would’ve wanted to hear. Organizers had to pull the plug to shut them up.

  2. Really don’t like this one – I never forgave him for what he did to ‘Black Steel …’

    • though as a small silver lining, that’s 2 days in a row we’ve been able to discuss Public Enemy!

      • Good point, but how dare he?!

        Especially after he was so good on the Massive Attack LPs.

  3. I love that Seal song though!

  4. Ah, the Bristol scene…alas, I too could never get into Tricky.

  5. Hackskeptic permalink

    It’s comforting to find someone else who doesn’t wax lyrical concerning “Maxinquaye”. I was starting to question myself, as everything I’ve read online seems to be completely at odds with my listening experience. “Black Steel” is a damn good song, but it’s a cover…and it’s not trip-hop.

    • Thanks Hackskeptic – it’s funny with those seemingly universally acclaimed albums, I also ask myself, “am I missing something?” Glad to hear I’m not alone with this one!

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