on 14 June 2003
For listeners familiar with Tricky's past works, Vulnerable seems a stark contrast to the dark, warped and distorted sounds that prevail over works like Pre-Millenium Tension and Angels with Dirty Faces.
Where those previous albums are a collection of disjointed beats and moods, Vulnerable features guitar driven tunes, and more complete, almost radio-friendly(!) songs, something that makes it more similar to
Songs such as 'Hollow', a tear jerker in the vein of 'makes me wanna die' on P.M.T, and 'Stay' are examples of this.
The incredible Martina Topley Bird has departed to focus on her solo project, leaving an opening for Costanza, a female vocalist who, although not as inspirational and personable as Martina, compliments Tricky's spoken words with a voice that is at times strong and rousing, and at others breathy and delicate.
While I would never call a Tricky album uplifting, this is the brightest sounding one to date.
It will probably grow on me, and personally I don't think Tricky can go wrong, but in my opinion Maxinquaye is the superior album.
on 4 June 2003
Vulnerable is yet another incarnation of the multi-faced artist, Tricky. The content is as new as the tandem format of CD and DVD suggests with perhaps just the languishing lyrics a suitable link between past and present. Pre-millennium Tension boasted a recording time of weeks and the publicity spoke of the artist’s illness and energy in equal measure. Hardly the most appealing of beginnings but the product was superb - rushed but infused with the energy promised. Vulnerable has no such PR hype but all the quality. The industrial beats of the textured background welcome Tricky back but the veil of blackness that covered Pre-millennium and Angels With Dirty Faces has been drawn back. Beneath is a rawness and purity that draws the audience further into the depths of his poetry. It is this poetry that suffuses past work but dominates here with the music a multi-layered backdrop only occasionally brought to the fore.
I have enjoyed Tricky for his diversity and this new work is in keeping with the constant tangents he explores. When asked which album to start with, if new to his music, there is no beginning and on many levels no development. In Vulnerable he has taken yet another new path but with a success that will guarantee it longevity well beyond the less well crafted Blowback. Is there value in the DVD part to the package? Personally I am not bothered. I admire and would immerse myself in the music and therefore find any extras to be what they are….a bonus. But if you need an add-on reason to buy Vulnerable then perhaps this is not the album or artist to select – at least not whilst Kylie is still giving away posters. The homage to the Cure is excellent and is a cooling reminder of what a cover version should be.
on 20 May 2003
So Trickys back with the follow up to his 2001 album 'Blowback'. This time he has found a new female muse, italian Constanza Francavilla who he discovered after she gave a demo tape to his drummer after a gig in Rome.
Well first of all it isnt just a CD, the limited edition album comes with a DVD which contains a documentory directed by Tricky, extra tracks and some rather bizare photo's. This is something that no-one has really tried before and i have to say its pretty good being able to kick back and experience something other than just music from an album.
Back to the music, cause thats whats important after all! Ive always been a big fan of Tricky ever since I heard Maxinquaye, which is probably one of the greatest albums of all time, I kid you not. But every album released since has been somewhat of a let down, that doesnt mean that none of them are any good just that there not as good as his debut. For this album the mood seems to be quite similar throughout unlike most of his other ventures which vary from track to track. Overall is a good album, not his best but not his worst either. Its along the same lines as Blowback with respect to the overall sound but isnt as interesting because of the lack of featured vocalists. Dont get me wrong Constanza has a fantastic voice which suits Tricky's beats to a tee, but I personally would like to see a range of different vocalists each doing 1 or 2 tracks each. Another problem is that Tricky himself has become a little samey with his vocal contributions, settling again to mumble over most of the tracks unlike the way he used to try different styles, for example 'Trick Kid' and 'Brand New Your Retro'.
The album starts of well but tails off a little at the end, although the cover of the Cures 'Love Cats' the penultimate track is well worth a listen. I would recommend the album to all Tricky fans who enjoiyed Blowback, although if Maxinquaye is the only thing youv'e heard have a listen first!
on 23 May 2003
I was not sure what to expect after Blowback, an album that any artist would have found difficult to follow. But with this being Tricky you can hear although the sound is still unmistakably his, it sounds like nothing else he has done so far.
Car Crash is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard and the sexy Italian singer Constanza really comes across so well on this track. The cover of XTC's Dear God is amazing, with Constanza playing guitar and Tricky playing drums! Where I'm From will be familiar to anyone who saw the Blowback tour as it has that riff half inched from Ace Of Spades in it. The Lovecats is my least favorite Cure song ever, but on this record its transformed into something more beauiful and fragile than Robert Smith could imagine.
on 14 October 2014
Brilliant album by Tricky and friends - along the lines of the magnificent 'MQAXINQUAYE' - superb!
I got 'em all and this is one of the best in my humble.
on 31 May 2003
Tricky's always lived up to his name one way or another. His first few albums after Maxinquaye were dark and inaccessible affairs seemingly designed to lose him fans. Blowback was almost the opposite, arguably his most accessible album to date but in the end a bit too poppy. Personally I liked Blowback a lot, uneven as it was, but after a while I never listened to it. I was worried it might be the same with this album.
It is quite poppy in many ways, although more even than previous albums. There don't seem to be many tracks that stand out, but it's not because the songs all sound the same, there is a good amount of variation. It seems more like and album you would have on in the background than sit and listen to intensively. The weird thing is that it sounds like two albums; first of all it sounds like Tricky carrying on with his usual thing, but it also sounds like the debut album from his new female vocalist. It's as if they both decided to record an album at the same time and put them together, and it's a little strange. I don't know how much of a hand she had in writing the songs, but it seems like she must have had some, because there's a fair bit of cliched lyricism from her.
Like just about everything by Tricky, it's hard to know quite what to think about it. In a way though, that's what makes it interesting.
Tricky was always the poor relation to Massive Attack in my opinion, but with this album, Tricky has moved his sound on and kept it relevent, whereas MA's last two albums have lost themselves in a fug of dark beats and soulless navel-gazing - a great shame.
Tricky's latest has a greater "live instruments" sound to it. There is still plenty of experimental electronica, including, of all things, a sample from a classic Bollywood funk tune ("dum maaro dum") on the final track! But the sound is typically dark and multi-layered. Tricky's brooding, deep voice adds another dimension to the mainly female vocal-led tracks.
This may not be the best album you hear all year, but it's well worth a listen. I would award it 3.5 stars if I could, but I give it the benefit of the doubt. Tricky's best since Maxinquaye.
on 2 June 2003
I think this is Tricky's best album along with Maxinquaye, Pre-Millennium Tension, Angels W/ Dirty Faces and Blowback. I don't give 5 stars to it because Maxinquaye has got 5 stars. Best tracks: Antimatter, Ice Pick, Car Crash, Moody, Lovecats, Search Search Survive