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Not since the seminal Maxinquaye has he produced such an accomplished or coherent effort
Mark Kavanagh, 15 May 2003
Having shot the photography for the sleeve of Vulnerable, which he co-designed, and collaborated with Stephane Sednaoui on a number of short movies (including the video for current single ‘Anti-Matter’), all of which will apparently be on this album’s bonus CD, the perennial under-achiever Tricky is emerging in 2003 as something of a renaissance man. So perhaps it’s not surprising that on Vulnerable we witness something of a musical resurrection.
Not since the seminal Maxinquaye has he produced such an accomplished or coherent effort, and the aforementioned beauty ‘Anti-Matter’ is indicative of the surprisingly pop sensibilities on display here. That’s not to say there’s the slightest hint of the eccentric rebel selling out – scratch the surface and you’ll find the same inventive and uncategorisable dub-sonic soundscapes for which he’s renowned.
What separates Vulnerable from its recent predecessors is the fact that Tricky sounds like he’s having immense fun. Tracks like ‘Ice Pick’, ‘Where I’m From’ and the all-too-brief cover of The Cure’s ‘Lovecats’ are positively brimming with optimism. While the more familiarly styled guitar-driven outings, such as ‘Wait For God’ and ‘What Is Wrong’, are underpinned by a vivacious sense of urgency.
Maybe he’s eased up on the skunk intake, maybe seductive new Italian chanteuse Constanza Francavilla inspired a newly optimistic creative lease of life, or maybe he just figured that seven albums in it’s time to show the world that he’s still the man. Let’s just hope he continues to rediscover the joys of life.