Tricky Angels With Dirty Faces
Grade C+
Also Try
Roni Size
DJ Shadow

Tricky is a part of a genre of urban artists who merge a variety of music styles under the auspices of techno/drum and bass/trip hop. Using programmed beats as a backdrop, he mixes a variety of intruments to create songs that have a more urban and fleshy/human feel to them as compared to some of his contemporaries, like Roni Size. His music is darker and evokes an emotional response as it provides a window into the world he tries to present. Tricky's vocals are more spoken than sung, but tend to add to the flavor of his music. More inventive than the standard hip hop, Tricky weaves his music with a larger variety than your standard artist.

Mellow is just that. It comes across with an odd beat, layered in casual bass and guitar lines that can catch the listener off guard, especially after the more aggressive opening track of Money Greedy. Broken Homes has a wonder vocal part performed by P.J. Harvey in contrast to Tricky's own "spoken" lines that adds to the sour, somber mood of the track. The following track, 6 Minutes, is a steady, more aggressive track that seems needed after the depressing mood laid down before. One of the strengths of the album is the track progression in the beginning half and the real feeling of being a soundtrack for the urban plight. The second half, though, seems to be dragged down by weaker tracks.

There is some really good stuff here, but on the otherhand, there is some stuff that's either weak or boring in general. Analyze Me is slow and boring and The Moment I Feared doesn't hold a candle to the original. Both Demise and Tear Out My Eyes are decent, but in the structure of the album, feel slow and seem to drag the album down. There are some excellent tracks here and you can tell that Tricky has some talent, but some of the songs just don't fit well and tend to drag the rest of the album down.

I would have to say that Angels With Dirty Faces is a good album on the whole, but it seems to lack in certain aspects. It's not the best of the genre and to be honest, it's not the strongest album Tricky has put out. Some of the songs are really good, but if you want to get into the genre, this album may not be the best representation of either Tricky's or the genre's best works.

- - Vane

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