I listened to the whole album and I like it quite a lot. There’s a decent variety of stuff, most of which is really fantastic. There’s a few tracks I’m not so sure about. But one of the key things is that Tricky’s claustrophobic and slighty off-kilter style is at the forefront here. Especially in this song.
It begins with a kind of tribal sounding beat and then some distorted bass notes. There’s a clock ticking in the background as Tricky’s voice (sometimes doubled) speaks/raps his slow style. It feels close up and dark. When guest vocalist Tirzah sings the female parts, she continues that slightly echoed, slightly muffled style that doesn’t really shed any brightness on the song.
Sure, there’s a chorus, but it’s not the reach out and grab you kind. Rather, it just pushes the song along to its inevitable conclusion. The keyboards noises that end the song create an uneasy feeling as the beat continues until the song ends with a ticking clock.
It’s great to have Tricky back in form.
[READ: July 1, 2014] The Bird King and other sketches
I’ve been marveling over Shaun Tan’s work this summer, so I was delighted to see this book as well. The Bird King is, as the subtitle says, a collection of Tan’s sketches. He gives a brief introduction about how he was unsure whether or not to publish them as they are clearly unfinished, but so many of them are so beautiful in their “what might be” stage, that it’s hard to deny their value.
I mean, the very first picture, called “Bee-eater” is magnificent (it’s at the bottom of the page here). It is part of the first section called Untold Stories. This includes several of the pages from the comic Flinch that I read back in June. I said I didn’t love the pieces then (I didn’t realize he did the cover of that book as well). But I see now that I like the drawings better out of the context of that book, which was more about spooky and unsettling things. I don’t think of Tan’s work as spooky or unsettling, rather it’s more magical, so seeing this series of titled pencil drawings together was really cool.
The second section is called Book Theatre and Film (I didn’t know that he was a creative consultant for Wall-E), and it includes samples from his books (like Eric and The Red Tree) as well as stills from movies that were made of his books like The Lost Thing as well as earlier books which I don’t know like John Marsen’s The Rabbits and covers of other books (like Tender Morsels). (more…)