Rating: 5 / 10
The curse of success. Many artists have become victims. Ever since the former Massive Attack MC redefined a whole genre of with his debut, “Maxinquaye”, he’s failed to reach similar heights. No change here, as “Vulnerable”, would struggle with even the Harbour Bridge Climb. But, there are still some promising sights along the way.
“It’s a more honest sound. There is no other artist doing what I do. None.” Tricky reveals on the album’s accompanied DVD. He has a point. Putting unknown singer, Constanza Francavilla on EVERY song. Constanza delivers some beautiful melodies and the tag team work well. Perfectly, on the slow paced ‘Car Crash’. ‘Hollow’, the album’s strongest track has a laidback atmospheric beat and synthetic sound accompanying a full orchestra. Tricky’s gift is mastering the tempo, evident here as it grows and pauses for breath throughout. The Cure’s ‘The Love Cats’, is remade, a catchy chorus and grooving bass, that gets the head nodding. The dark and violent past returns on, ‘Search, Search, Survive’. A faster beat rides an almost screaming keyboard, as if to signal a warning to take cover. “The editor of Face / We’ll edit this place / Exit without trace / After we edit your face”. Constanza repeats the full verse in her native tounge, which again blends nicely.
‘Stay’, the opening song, sums up the album as a whole. Original production, but never anything powerful enough to force you from your seat, or to grab the nearest one to recover. Tricky’s right, there’s no other artists doing what he does. Possibly because there is no genre created for him to fit into. The end result puts you in a feeling of limbo. Not knowing which direction to feel settled. Ironically, Tricky’s own life is now more settled then it’s ever been. No more suicide attempts or manic depression. Unfortunately, he can’t quite shake off that nasty curse from his past…