New Tricky album "Vulnerable" released in EU 2003-05-19 - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-07-2003, 10:18 AM   #1
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New Tricky album "Vulnerable" released in EU 2003-05-19

Vulnerable. Perhaps not the first word you associate with Tricky.

"People don't think I can make anything but really dark music," he says. "I've had so many things said about me. They've called me 'The Dark Prince' and a madman. But that isn't me. I'm not the devil. I called this album Vulnerable because it's my most honest and open record. On this album I've stopped hiding and I'm allowing people to see different sides of the real me."

Not that Vulnerable is exactly an album of light-headed, sunny pop songs. You will find within its memorable grooves all the complex moods and intricate textures that we have come to expect from Tricky since he made 1995's Maxinquaye, one of the defining records of the last decade.

But this is Tricky as you've never heard him before. Vulnerable and exposed.

Older and wiser, he's learned from his mistakes and there's a new-found maturity to his music-making.

Yet he's also rediscovered the freshness and audacity that made Maxinquaye such a landmark in contemporary music.

"I've got my energy back," he says. "There was a time when I wondered if I should be making music at all. I'd watch MTV and couldn't identify with anything on there. I thought maybe I'm in the wrong time. But I've found a way of making my music without being part of the mainstream. I've found a label and a business set-up that allows me to make the music I want to make without worrying about any of that other stuff."

Vulnerable was recorded in Los Angeles, where Tricky now lives, five minutes from the beach. Stranded in the city when American airspace closed down in the days following September 11, he found he enjoyed the vibe of LA so much that he simply never went home.

"I came for two weeks and 18 months later I'm still here," he says. "I've found out that I need to be in the sun. If the weather is dark and gloomy I can stay in my house for months and not even go out. I can't function. I get depressed. Now I'm having fun again and you can hear that in the music. I'm fed up with being called 'the dark prince'. Vulnerable is me breaking free and being myself again."

Born in Bristol in 1968, Tricky came to prominence as a guest vocalist on Massive Attack's groundbreaking albums, Blue Lines and Protection. His debut solo album, Maxinquaye, followed in 1995 and it's unique fusion of rap, rock and r&b helped to change the face music; breaking down all barriers.



Yet there ensued a string of albums in which his music - while still challenging and inventive - grew increasingly dark and inaccessible. Nearly God followed in 1996 and his third album, Pre-Millennium Tension, came in the same year.

Angels with Dirty Faces in 1998 was darker still and the songs reflected his deep unhappiness with the music business. After Juxtapose in 1999, Tricky decided to turn his life around and find a new way of working. "I never wanted to be a pop star and I didn't start out making music to be on magazine covers. But I'd lost sight of that. I'd got sucked in by the music industry. When I realised what was going on, that's when my life and music began to get back on track."

Blowback, released in 2001, was the comeback album that saw him banishing many of his demons. Now Vulnerable takes his regeneration a stage further. It is, he says, his most 'pop' album to date. "I'm not against pop music, although most of it today is rubbish and full of second-hand emotion. But pop music doesn't have to be a dirty word. You can make great pop music and still be credible and move souls. That's what this album is about."

Anti-Matter, the album's first single is a case in point. "It's making fun of what's going on," Tricky explains. "I'm taking a dig at modern pop music and the industry - but I'm doing it by making a very pop track. It's saying I don't want the same things other people want. I'm not interested in the glamour. I don't have a single celebrity friend. I don't hang with them. I've got nothing in common with people like that and I'm not comfortable
around them."

Hence on Vulnerable he has banished the celebrity guests who have graced his previous albums, from Bjrk and Neneh Cherry through to Alanis Morissette and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Instead, he has found a new muse in the extraordinary voice of the previously unknown Italian singer, Costanza Francavilla.

A long-time Tricky fan, she gave a demo of her songs to his drummer after attending a Tricky show in Rome last year. "I listened on the flight home to two songs and called her a few days later and told her we're going to do an album together," he remembers.

She flew to London to meet him and soon after travelled to LA to go into the studio with him. Recording the album was finished in a few weeks and Costanza speaks with astonishment at the energy and intuition with which Tricky works in the studio. "We'd be recording and he'd be throwing out really great lyrics off the top of his head. He'd yell at me to write them down before he forgot them," she recalls. Her own album should be released later this year on Tricky's new Urban Poison / Brown Punk label.

"She's brilliant and my lyrics and melodies suit a woman's voice," Tricky says. "I often write from a woman's perspective and I've always wanted my own voice to sound like a woman."

Yet although Costanza sings on every track, Tricky's own voice - sounding nothing like a woman - is also heard more prominently on Vulnerable than on many of his recent albums. "I don't like my own voice," he says. "I'd already mastered the record without any of my own vocals on it. Then people started asking me why I was hiding on my own record. I was insulted at first. Then I thought about it and I realised it was true. I'd been hiding all my life. So I went back in the studio and put my own voice on there."

Vulnerable is probably the most diverse album of Tricky's career. From the dub reggae of Stay to the skewed pop of Anti-Matter to the rock vibe of Ice Pick, it's an album that defies easy categorisation.

This, he explains, is a result of his own uniquely disparate background. "My mum was half-white. My grandfather was Jamaican-Spanish. My family is all different textures and colours. Some look Asian. Some have blonde hair and freckles. My sister is black. And I grew up in a white ghetto in the toughest part of Bristol. So all these different cultures are running around my head. I grew up on all this different music from Billie Holiday to T Rex. It was like a musical jumble sale. I guess that's why my music sounds the way it does. In the studio I'm like a kid in a toy shop playing with all these different sounds."

Today Tricky is the first to admit he has made a lot of mistakes in his career. "I've often moved too fast. I've hurt people's feelings and left them by the wayside. I regret that. But then may be I had to make those mistakes to get here. Because this is the best record I've done, as far as I'm concerned. I banged my head against a wall so many times. Then I went back and examined why I wanted to make music in the first place."

The result is an extraordinary album that finds Tricky back to his very best. Vulnerable. But also uncompromising. That's what happens when you realise there's no reason to hide any more.
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Old 04-07-2003, 10:25 AM   #2
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Wow, that's a long press release...

But...

Cool!

I have his last album (Blowback) and it's a great record. I'll be definately checking out this new one.

C ya!

Marty (who suddenly gets Evolution Revolution Love stuck in his head)
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Old 04-07-2003, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: New Tricky album "Vulnerable" released in EU 2003-05-19

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
Vulnerable was recorded in Los Angeles, where Tricky now lives, five minutes from the beach. Stranded in the city when American airspace closed down in the days following September 11, he found he enjoyed the vibe of LA so much that he simply never went home.
not new jersey after all eh, hiphop? interesting his thoughts on LA. i would never have thought it. thanks for the info.
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Old 04-07-2003, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: Re: New Tricky album "Vulnerable" released in EU 2003-05-19

Quote:
Originally posted by bonosgirl84


not new jersey after all eh, hiphop?
Whoknows
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Old 04-07-2003, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn
Wow, that's a long press release...

But...

Cool!

I have his last album (Blowback) and it's a great record. I'll be definately checking out this new one.

C ya!

Marty (who suddenly gets Evolution Revolution Love stuck in his head)
If you like Blowback, youll like Maxinquaye and Pre Millenium Tension even more.
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Old 04-07-2003, 04:30 PM   #6
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The new album sounds very promising. I am a big fan of Tricky. I absolutely love Maxinquaye and Pre-Millenium Tension but I feel like he lost the plot a bit after that. I really didn't care for Blowback at all. It felt like an album made up of radio-friendly singles instead of a piece that could stand on it's own. I still hope that this new album is an improvement on the last one and I'm sure I will buy it anyways.
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Old 04-07-2003, 09:28 PM   #7
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that's my frickin birthday

happy frickin birthday damon

tricky is cool. i have a bunch of his albums but i haven't really listened to them.
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Old 04-08-2003, 06:35 AM   #8
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which Tricky album was it that you gave me in Vienna, hiphop? I was just listening to it again the other days. Nice memories.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:52 AM   #9
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I'm also an avid fan of Tricky. Pre-Millin Tension is defiantely worth a try. And thanks to this article, I now have Christiansands stuck in my head

Btw, although my best friend gave me the nickname "Cleasai," it actually means Trickster in Gaelic which is also in reference to Tricky as much as my personality there's a bit of trivia for ya! hehe
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Old 04-10-2003, 05:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
which Tricky album was it that you gave me in Vienna, hiphop? I was just listening to it again the other days. Nice memories.
Maxinquaye... definitely a good one for Paris
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Old 04-11-2003, 07:27 PM   #11
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I just downloaded this from soulseek.. it's very enjoyable so far
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