Tricky, Telepathique Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Mon., Sept. 8, 9 p.m. 2008

On his first album in five years, Knowle West Boy (Domino), Tricky sounds almost comfortable. That might not seem like praise, given that his 1995 debut, Maxinquaye, drew much of its power from tension, but since then he’s seemed so stubbornly focused on not repeating himself—in the process making music that sounded both strained and uninspired—that it’s good to hear him relax into the dark, melodic trip-hop thump that worked so well for him ten years ago. His somewhat congested voice can’t carry an album on its own (he admits as much in his press bio), but he brought in a variety of guests, mostly female—more help on the mike than he’s had in ages—who give the record a range and texture missing since he parted ways with Martina Topley-Bird. Though some of the rock flourishes on Knowle West Boy are too clumsy for my tastes (the reggae and dancehall flavors blend in much better), it’s the most listenable Tricky album in a decade. —Peter Margasak

Price: $25-$27.50, 17+

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