Knowle West Boy

Studio Album by released in 2008
Knowle West Boy's tracklist:
Puppy Toy
C'mon Baby
Council Estate
Past Mistake
Cross to Bear
Far Away
School Gates

Knowle West Boy review

Tricky returns to his roots

Adrian Thaws professionally known as Tricky is one of the most extravagant artists of the British scene. Born in a town of Knowle West, not the most trouble-free region in the country Tricky remained an orphan at the age of 4 years when his mother committed suicide, he had never known his father, and his grandmother raised him. The young man was deeply influenced by the school, besides, he constantly felt connection between his mother and himself which could not but be reflected in his creative work. The debut album Maxinquaye named after his mother changed the idea of trip hop and became the first creation to be appreciated by two leagues at once, the fans of both pop and hip hop. Tricky’s whispering vocals and rap and the inimitable lyrics for which he actually got his nickname could not be left without attention although the artist has never been attracted by the commercial success. This year, 5 years after the release of his last album Vulnerable, Tricky returns to his roots on the new record Knowle West Boy, a biographic story following all of his life path and allowing to estimate how much he has managed to achieve.

Knowle West Boy is listened at a breath

A splendid style mixture from rock to drum’n’bass on Knowle West Boy by no means prevents thirteen different tracks sound as a whole unit that is why the record is listened at a breath. The album opens with a jazzy piano composition Puppy Toy refined with female vocals provided by the singer’s ex girlfriend Lubna and track Bacative pleases with a wonderful severity of the vocals in combination with a most beautiful orchestral accompaniment. Song Joseph is slow and lyrical whereas Veronika is on the contrary a tough and even a bit aggressive piece again performed with the ex girlfriend. Another heavy track C'mon Baby gains the elements of dance music and is remarkable for an exaggeratedly simple text. The central position on the album is occupied by a composition full of cynicism Council Estate telling the story of the singer’s childhood and youth looked at through his today’s status while Past Mistake proves to be one of Tricky’s most sensual songs lately due to both most beautiful audio effects and a soft tune. A heavy track Coalition pleases with rapping and topical lyrics of modern life whereas a cover version of Kylie Minogue’s Slow is a tougher reading of the songs which gives a completely different implication to it. The most danceable on the record is track Balgaga, a mixture of jazz, drum’n’bass and African music and the album closer is another thematic moment School Gates dedicated to the reminiscences of a fifteen year old girlfriend and filled with the feelings of solitude, despair and nostalgia.

A man with no limits

Tricky has also become famous for his collaboration with collective Massive Attack at the beginning of his career but the musicians had different views on music, besides, the artist did not share the interest in the commercial success with Massive Attack. Yet on the band’s two albums there are songs written by Tricky. In addition to recording albums the British is acting in movies rather actively. For example he can be seen in action movie The Fifth Element playing the role of Mr Zorg’s (Gary Oldman) right hand. Yet whatever he does the main thing for him remains the possibility to express himself, draw people’s attention to the questions that worry him and never limit oneself with anything. That has been exactly the approach when recording Knowle West Boy. The variety of styles even within a song is so unique and harmonious that it is clear: there are really no limits for this man. Many critics believe that until today Tricky has not been able to repeat the success of Maxinquaye but his ninth album taking us back to the performer’s past will surely do that and the artist will definitely not get away from the success this time around.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (27.06.2008)
Rate review4.16
Total votes - 12

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