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Pre-Millennium Tension

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Album Review

Maxinquaye was an unexpected hit in England, launching a wave of similar-sounding artists, who incorporated Tricky's innovations into safer pop territory. Tricky responded by travelling to Jamaica to record Pre-Millennium Tension, a nervy, claustrophobic record that thrives in its own paranoia. Scaling back the clattering hooks of Maxinquaye and slowing the beat down, Tricky has created a hallucinatory soundscape, where the rhythms, samples, and guitars intertwine into a crawling procession of menacing sounds and disembodied lyrical threats. Its tone is set by the backward guitar loops of "Vent," and continued through the shifting "Christiansands," and the tense, lyrically dense "Tricky Kid," easily Tricky's best straight rap to date. Occasionally, the gloom is broken, such as when the shimmering piano chords of "Makes Me Want to Die" ring out, but nearly as often, it becomes bogged down in its own murk, as in the long ragga rant "Ghetto Youth." While the lyrics are often quite effective in conveying dope-addled paranoia, what ties the album together is its layered rhythms and soundscapes. Though it might not sound that way immediately, Pre-Millennium Tension is as much Tricky reaching back to his hardcore rap roots as it is a sonic exploration. As such, it stands as a transition record for Tricky, but its overall effect is only slightly less powerful than Maxinquaye or Nearly God.

Customer Reviews

Definately Classic

This album and Portishead's self-titled define what I love about "trip-hop". Too bad that, other than Nearly God, I have found few album's like them. I was disappointed when I heard the "masterpiece" Maxinquaye years later. In comparison, most of it was too much like the polished generic trip-hop/downbeat imitators that I tried to avoid. This album skews more toward hip-hop and dub with a consistent, quiet energy in the air of its warped meditative drone. Still fresh.

A couple of my Favorites

This and Maxinquaye are by far the best Tricky albums. Thus far in life I have yet to find an artist that can even attempt to touch him. The uniqueness, beauty, emotion and life that his music holds, there is non to compare. I can listen to these albums time and time again and never get tired of them. Yes, Portishead and Tricky both are in a class of their own and hold so much depth to them both that anyone whos ears have yet to behold the sound have truly robbed themselves from hearing what I believe to be some of the best music of our time.

Classic

Classic album. Tricky still rules!

Biography

Born: 1964 in Knowle West, Bristol, Avon, Engla

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally, Tricky was a member of the Wild Bunch, a Bristol-based rap troupe that eventually metamorphosed into Massive Attack during the early '90s. Tricky provided pivotal raps on Massive Attack's groundbreaking 1992 album, Blue Lines. The following year, he released his debut single, "Aftermath." Before he recorded "Aftermath," he met a teenage vocalist named Martina,...
Full Bio
Pre-Millennium Tension, Tricky
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