The term Trip Hop has been thrown around throughout the history of music since the 1990s to describe a strange fusion of Hip Hop, Rap, Electronic music and elements of Psychedelia. This has had some interesting releases over the years that have been classics in the music world in their own way. Tricky delivered this album back in 1995, which was not only a well received debut album but also a classic of the Trip Hop genre. Let’s jump back in time and take a listen to this album, and hopefully, it should be a good listen.
Overcome launches into a movie soundtrack sounding piece, but with some interesting instrumentation and breakbeats. Tricky gets going into a piece that easily could have fitted into a James Bond film. This is surprisingly very, very good. It is a uniquely wonderful and artistic effort that is super infectious listening, and creativity at one of its best representations. This is the perfect musical listen for the drive back home from the club. Towards the middle is a very Psychedelic midsection, with some amazing sounds, textures and samples to blow your mind. An interesting, different and powerful musical statement that no doubt has stood the test of time. The second half builds up well in intensity, and it eventually morphs into a really awesome supersonic bass driven groove, whilst not being an overly dramatic departure from the rest of the track. A different and unsettling listen, but nonetheless, brilliant. It concludes with some excellent tribal beats before finishing.
Ponderosa begins with a toybox sounding melody, before some percussion and heavy sounds enter. There is some whispering to go along with this tune. Soon enough, this track launches into a good piece of surreal fantasy, which is awesome. There are some cool sounds throughout, and these tracks are nicely structured and have some cool lyrics about drinking and smoking for pleasure. A very enjoyable, fresh and consistent listen to this day. This tune is very, very good and this will take the imagination places that it usually doesn’t. The drum loops and intricate sounds here are very awesome. Great listening and “I drink until I am drunk, and I smoke until I am senseless,” are awesome lyrics. There is a touch of piano towards the end before this tune concludes wonderfully. It segues into the next track.
Black Steel begins with some looped and distorted guitar sounds before some strange sampling of Indian style music is in the left channel. Tricky gets launched into a strange and wonderful tune that is about being trapped in the prison system. A weird topic to choose as a tune for this album. Soon enough, drum rolls enter and a chaotic Rock section of drums and guitars enter this superb tune. This is a weird, yet enjoyable tune. It’s supposed to be weird though but in a very good way. This track could easily appeal to Rock fans as well as Trip Hop fans, the guitar work is subdued, yet excellent. A really decent tune, with some looped vocals in a breakdown before this piece gets kicking again. This anti-authoritarian tune makes sense to the listener, and it just sounds cool and different. An enjoyable piece of two different genres, Rock and Trip Hop. This could have been edited down for length’s sake, however. Five and a half minutes is a rather lengthy listen for such simple music. Anyway, it’s good to hear nonetheless. This tune ends with some awesome percussion and tasty electronic sounds. Nice effort.
Hell Is Around The Corner begins with some string sections and slow Rapping which is cool. It is excellently delivered, and this track is a really psychedelic and strange sort of listen. Nonetheless, Tricky delivers very well here and his voice is quite mellow and calm to hear. This is a great listen from Tricky, he shows his worth. Yes, this music is a little repetitive, but it oozes the sensuality and appeal that most music lacks to this very day. A great listen, this is one of those pieces for those who like retrospective 1990s music and getting high. This is also a good soundtrack for those who like to chill very much at home, but who also dig Electronic sounds and textures. The outro is sublime, a really great job well done here.
Pumpkin begins with a great female vocal intro, along with some dark and moody textures to go. The female singing here is absolutely gorgeous, although to be fair, it sounds odd but resoundingly coherent with this track. This is a very good listen for those who dig a dark and morbid sounding style of Electronic music. Tricky gets going with his own vocals next, and he is reassuringly excellent. A thorough and interesting musical listen, this piece builds up gradually in intensity in the second half. Nonetheless, a very dark, twisted and smoothly sensual Trip Hop listening experience. There are some subtle Rock guitars throughout the second half, which is highly unusual. “I can’t see, and I can’t breathe,” refers to the emotionally disturbed nature of humanity from within. This tune ends with some timely but loose percussion. Good tune.
Aftermath is the longest track on this album. It begins with some unusual samples from likely an old Jazz record before flushes of female vocals enter. Soon enough, this track gets going very well with some punchy Breakbeats, and we are underway. The subsonic bass on this tune as well is really fantastic, and this album comes across as a pleasant surprise to those listening. A flute solo enters, followed by other musical fragments that join in here. This points to the fact that, although Tricky never matched this record, Massive Attack surely had some serious competition at the time from him. A catchy, slow and druggy listen, this is a great Trip Hop record that is worth hearing, especially if you like Rap but wish to hear something different. It is fairly repetitive, but not annoyingly so. The smooth and calm female vocals throughout make you want to be super romantic with a loved one. A very excellent tune, and although this is over seven and a half minutes long, it is brilliant. A cool, clever and ingenious sounding recording, this certainly is mindblowing in its own way. Stoner music better than Kid Cudi? Very likely so. The flute solo returns in the second half whilst this track slowly burns on nicely. A really cool and enjoyable piece of straightforward music, this is definitely a winner. Light up the joints and relax to this one, just don’t get caught doing so to this music. A fine and fantastic listen. Towards the end, the various fragments of the backing track compete with each other, before some spoken words wrap this up. Great effort, all the way through to the fade out.
Abbaon Fat Tracks comes next, opening with some interesting processed electric guitar, quickly launching into a rhythmic piece with slide guitar and other unusual instrumentation. This track then begins and evolves into a creative and awesome tune that beats a lot of the competition here. Nonetheless, this is another decent and tripped out listening experience. The combination of female and male vocals here is really brilliant. The music here is fairly timeless, and it sounds really fine and awesome. With references to late 20th century activities and some random samples to match, this sounds super cool. A very listenable and enjoyable tune. “I roll up the blue bills, I snort the cheap thrills,” are lyrics you do not wish to recite in public. Nonetheless, another great listen and the beats towards the end are variable and effects laden. A wonderful listen. It ends with the samples of guitars to conclude, nice work.
Brand New You’re Retro begins with some interesting sounds and samples, quickly launching into a druggy and lyrical drug talking tune with Tricky rapping away very well. This is a good, enjoyable and exciting listening experience that although isn’t the best track on this album, it does do justice to the listener. Some insane DJ sounding scratching is here through, amongst many other wild and wacky electronic sounds to fit this awesome tune. A great and short piece of decent music which is a somewhat arrogant self-statement by Tricky, it still sounds impressive and great regardless. Short, at under three minutes long, it is over before you know it.
Suffocated Love begins with some straightforward basslines, beats, bongos and electronic sounds that are very audio-visual. This is quite a far out listen, and it sure sounds really interesting listening, although it is about a weird sexual fetish a lady could have…or a few of them. In any case, this tune is very interesting and adult. The lyrics are very topsy turvy to listen to, but the backing track is beautifully irresistible. One of the defining albums of the era, this tune is very much a sexual lover’s delight for a one night stand basis listen. Regardless, this is pretty interesting music and Tricky’s massive ego is in full effect here. Nonetheless, a wonderful listen throughout although it sounds kind of messed up. A good, yet weird listen.
You Don’t begins with loose wah-wah guitar parts and strings. Soon enough, this piece launches into a pseudo-Disco music groove complete with breakbeats. This is surprisingly good, once again. “I fight evil with evil,” is sung here, pointing to the fact that, in order to exact revenge, one must think that way. In any case, this is a smooth, laidback and groove laden piece that just does the job very well. An enjoyable piece of music with Tricky at one of his peaks here, this is superb goodness. A real image evoking and awesome piece of tunefulness, this track and album prove that you don’t need to be a sell-out to make great music. Thankfully, Tricky did not on these songs on this album. A tripped out and laidback listen, this sounds wonderfully well done. A really cool and tuneful listen, although again, a little repetitive. A mission statement of sorts by Tricky, this eventually concludes with a gentle fade out. Great.
Strugglin’ comes next, and it begins with some odd melodies, sounds of a gun being loaded and Tricky getting his mojo on. Soon enough, a weird mixture of sounds, samples and super slow beats enter. This tune then gets nicely underway, and although it is very strange listening, it’s okay. Probably not the best cut on this otherwise awesome album, it just sounds dark, discordant and plain weird. The repetitive nature of this song also does drag it down a little, which is unfortunate. Otherwise, this is a decent tune, although it lacks the magic of the other tracks on this album. Nonetheless, the artistry present on this track and album is not to be underestimated. In the second half are some weird stop/start sections, before this tune proceeds yet again. This does drag on but has its merits. It seems like Tricky needed to show some egotistical habits on this track, which isn’t excellent. Towards the end, the track strips down somewhat, and Tricky raps gently about the darker side of human nature. Weird, but you’ll be rather glad that this track concludes.
Feed Me is the last track here. It begins with some cut-up vocals that are wonderfully edited and super tripped out. This quickly launches into a piece of music that is fairly consistent with the rest of this album. The combination of Tricky’s murmuring and the main vocals on this tune are very magical, and the whole tune sounds very interesting and artistic, much like painting a picture. Smooth and laidback, this is highly drug influenced music. It’s designed to be so, so go and get mashed to this album if that is your thing. Even so, this is very good in a sober mood, too. A good way to finish an explosive musical statement, this album is very good for when the mood strikes. It ends with repeated loops and a long fade out. Great work.
This is a very, very good album, designed completely as music to take drugs to. Even so, this sounds magical when sober, although in retrospect the length of the album could have been edited somewhat. Tricky made a Trip Hop classic here. Too bad it went all downhill here for him. Still, if you want New Age stoner music and are looking for a place to start with it, this is a good listen for you.
Druggy yet enjoyable listening.