Tricky - Maxinquaye
This is where it all started for one of the most recognizable underground hip-hop personalities. Not that Tricky was ever held down to just one style, mind you. Maxinquaye (named after his mother) ended up blowing the lid off of UK's burgeoning electronica scene, following in the wake of Massive Attack and others' initial splashes. It charted at #3 in the UK and NME named Maxinquaye their album of the year in 1995. It's place as an indie classic is easily justified beyond the numbers due to the heavy influence the music within had across the globe.
Along with his then-girlfriend Martina Topley-Bird, Tricky oozes out a frantic, confused sensuality across the album, mixing horizontal-bop grooves with an air of vulnerability filtered through a myriad of influences. Samples from the Smashing Pumpkins ("Pumpkin", also featuring Alison Goldfrapp), Michael Jackson ("Brand New You're Retro") and Issac Hayes (on the album's biggest single "Hell Is Round The Corner") are effortlessly abridged atop Tricky's multi-textured grooves and beats. Each song is almost entirely different than the last. There's also a Public Enemy cover that works very well.
A more well-rounded dose of trip-hop is still hard to come by today. Tricky's love for various styles of music, and his seamless dropping in of those styles into a hip-hope framework, has made Maxinquaye not only one of the best albums of it's decade, but one of the most influential on it's respective genre. Anyone who hasn't spent some time with it should definitley check it out. Better late than never, as they say.
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on 2008-09-19 Macavennie Said:
I love AND hate this album
I love it for the obvious reason, its a terrific album
but i hate it for the undeserved "triphop" tag and the millions of formulaic average dross that it spawned and which ultimately finished the genre off.
before this album trip hop was very hip hop based, very dark and most importantly very UNinterested in chart success. Mo Wax, Unkle, Palm SKin Productions, DJ Shadow, Funky Porcini etc WERE triphop. there was a cauldron of creativity, of new forms, new approaches to music and to music making.
Massive attack were then conveniently retrospectively tagged triphop. Although one of my favourite bands, they bore little resemblance to the Triphop sounds that had coined the genre's title. A very different and very unrelated thing altogether
Then this album's success made all the big labels want a "triphop" band on their roster and all of a sudden hundreds of shit Massive clones popped up all over the place (morcheeba anyone?).
The guys who were making genuine triphop then shied away from getting caught up in the wealth of coffee shop music that followed and the movement died
another reason i hate the mass music media
this is a GOOD album
but not a triphop one
on 2008-09-17 dscanland Said:
Seriously, if you have never heard Tricky or Maxinquaye then you NEED to run and get this one. This is one of the most definitive trip hop albums out there. His new album is pretty good too but nothing compares to Maxinquaye. Martina Topley-Bird's vocals really stand out and make this thing a masterpiece. Tricky's been struggling ever since trying to get vocals as wonderful as this. Thanks Solitary, I've been meaning to review this one for ages! Truly a classic for both the trip hop genre and music in general. Now if you can do Blue Lines for me too...