One of the founders of the trip-hop movement, Bristol's Tricky recently dropped his 17-track greatest hits album Tricky: A Ruff Guide. At the time, I thought that to be a bit ambitious, but upon listening to the album, I realize he had plenty of jams to fill up a full-length. Plenty of early-era, post-Massive Attack songs find their way onto the compilation, from "Aftermath," "Overcome," "Pumpkin," and the stellar Public Enemy cover, "Black Steel," from his debut album Maxinquaye, which was named after his mother. Sophomore effort Pre-Millenium Tension is well-represented, as well, with tracks like "Tricky Kid," "Christiansands" and "Makes Me Wanna Die." Many of the songs still sound as fresh today as they did at the time, Tricky and Martina wrapping their dark vocals around even darker musical bases, creating a creepy and sinister sonic stew that you can't help but continue to explore. Guest appearances by Alison Goldfrapp, PJ Harvey and The Specials' Terry Hall feature as well. Greatest hits packages are the coolest.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN