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Collaboration Central

Nearly God

In case you hadn't heard, this disc is basically Tricky under a different moniker, pulling a ton of different collaborations. The release of the disc fell somewhere between his awesome debut Maxinquaye and the follow-up proper Pre-Millenium Tension. After listening to the disc, I kind of have a feeling why he chose not to release it directly under his name.

The disc starts out on a good note with the super-downer track "Tattoo." It moves along with a minimal bassline and some simple drums and is accented throughout with the usual raspy (although somewhat subdued) vocals by Tricky. The second track on the disc is probably the one that works the best. "Poems" trades the vocals of Tricky, Martina Topley Bird, and Terry Hall (of the Specials) and has the sort of awesome dark beat and accompaniment that made Maxinquaye the gem that it was. Following this track, the efforts are very hit-and-miss the rest of the album out.

Although "Keep Your Mouth Shut" with Bjork is interesting, it never really goes anywhere, and the actual "vocals" from Bjork are from one of her songs. I'm not sure whether they're just a recycled sample or whether she re-recorded them for the purpose of the new song. Probably the former. One of the other tracks on the disc that works really well happens to be a cover of Depeche Mode's "Judas" from their album Songs of Faith and Devotion. In its new form, the song is stripped to the bare essentials and is fueled with a simple, repetetive drum loop while Tricky and Topley Bird sing (not in harmony) over the top of it. Fortunately, the album finishes on a strong not with the track "Children's Story." The stuttering beat and almost spoken vocals make it much more interesting than a lot of the rest of the album that simply seems to blur together.

I'm not sure if the completely inconsistent tracks on the album are due to the collaborative nature of the album itself, or because these tracks were more of a set of B-Sides to the following release Pre-Millenial Tension, but it just doesn't work as well as what one would expect from the Tricky Kid. Check it out if you're a completist, but otherwise go snag a different release of his.

Rating: 5.25