Tricky "Council Estate"

Tricky "Council Estate"
Trip hop has made an unexpected and funny return to us in 2008. Of course, Portishead came back with brilliant Third, an album that was so radically altered in what we thought the band’s sound was that it didn't even qualify for our Frequencies reviews section, so we put it in Pop Rocks — that’s certainly not how it would have gone down back in 1994. Apparently Massive Attack — or should we just call them 3D now — the true heir to the trip hop throne have another album brewing, set for a hopeful 2008 release. And let’s not forget about Morcheeba… Actually, on second thought, let’s.

However, it wouldn’t be a full-on class reunion though if the Tricky Kid didn’t show in his tattered tux and barefoot. As we previously reported, Adrian Thaws will return in September with Knowle West Boy, his eighth full-length (Eight? Really?) and first for new label Domino. Co-produced by Switch (M.I.A.’s right-hand man) and described as the summation of everything that Tricky has accomplished since his 1995 Maxinquaye debut,” the prospects seem like there’s some potential for Tricky to get back in form.

First single "Council Estate” (out June 30) was designed as a "twisted Specials-worshipping punk celebration of self belief" — but I don’t hear that. Instead, the song that Radio One’s Zane Lowe hyped it as the "hottest record in the world” this week reverts back to the turbulence of 1995’s "Black Steel,” though without the forward progress. The skidding, almost surfin’ bass riff feels a little dated and frankly, out of place in 2008, and Tricky’s frantic, tough and confrontational front isn’t out of character, but feels disappointing that he had to go there. At least on his first single in five years.

I get that the concept behind Knowle West Boy is a socio-political one (which he’s been pushing to the press this week), and he’s addressing his former hood, but when he spits "Can’t break it, can’t take who you are/So remember boy you’re a superstar,” I’m not sure if Tricky’s speaking to his people or trying to convince himself that he’s still on point. Regardless, if you’re gonna make a big deal about "seizing [your] roots and detailing the travels and travails of [your] youth” to make "a record that acts as an eclectic aural history of his diverse upbringing,” why shoot the video in Paris and not your own community? I dunno, something doesn’t sit right…

Where is my copy of Third?

Tricky "Council Estate"