Less experimentally brash than his more recent release, Tricky's debut CD Maxinquaye is actually a better introduction to the British hip-hopper turned international trip-hopper than his later work. The dozen smoldering, m... more »oonlit tracks are less concerned with loopy aural exaggeration than they are with showcasing Tricky's slow-mo rap and singer Martine's sexy soprano. With the exception of the stellar "Pumpkin," (featuring vox from Alison Goldfrapp), the duo mix a colorful palate of rhythmic vocals, throbbing backbeats and gravelly electronic textures. Toss in large doses of sexual innuendo and Maxinquaye becomes a libidinous foray into languor and lust. --Nick Heil« less
Less experimentally brash than his more recent release, Tricky's debut CD Maxinquaye is actually a better introduction to the British hip-hopper turned international trip-hopper than his later work. The dozen smoldering, moonlit tracks are less concerned with loopy aural exaggeration than they are with showcasing Tricky's slow-mo rap and singer Martine's sexy soprano. With the exception of the stellar "Pumpkin," (featuring vox from Alison Goldfrapp), the duo mix a colorful palate of rhythmic vocals, throbbing backbeats and gravelly electronic textures. Toss in large doses of sexual innuendo and Maxinquaye becomes a libidinous foray into languor and lust. --Nick Heil
Matt F. from LE CLAIRE, IA Reviewed on 8/20/2006...
Atmospheric, thoughtful, pretty darn cool.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Just simply Amazing!
Un Anglophile | Davis, California, USA | 05/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you first look at the CD case, you're struck by it's cover; is it a suitcase or a door or something burned? What the heck is this? It begins a mystery. You put the CD into your player, expecting something, and almost immediately, the dark resonating beats of the first track "Overcome" hit you in a face. It sonically rolls over you hypnotically, sexual yet the heavy bass and dismembered flutes and samples give it an all too deep, heavy apocalytic feel. And that's only the beginning. Here comes Tricky, former Massive Attack and Wild Bunch collaborator, straight from the hip-hop hedonism of "Blue Lines" and the soncially diverse "Protection." Armed with samples, ideas, angst and crooner Martine's whispy soulful voice, he gives you an album that refuses to leave you at the end. Call it trip-hop or abstract electronica...it all seems undescribable by how many styles are weaved into this album; so seamless and flowing are they that you wonder how someone could have thought of it. There's "Black Steel," a remake of Public Enemy's "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," yet instead of using Chuck D's bullish activism, Martine makes the song sound so desperate until it feels that there can't be any escape from it. The slow rap of "Hell is Around the Corner" under the Isacc Hayes samples is downright eerie, while "Aftermath" feels like you're floating on air in the tropics; its hip-hop/blues fusion runs flawless. But there's still blood on the tracks. "Brand New, Your Retro" is straight out hip-hop/electronic/industrial, angry and never ending. The final track, "Feed Me," leaves you at the end of the album just like how you entered it with a deep bass line and hard hitting beats, fading away slowy to leave you at the end of a rollercoaster, yet still intact and wanting to listen to it again. Despite the few 'up' moments in this album and the constant dark feel of it all, it fails to isolate the listener, who's always anxious to hear more of what our tortured friend Tricky does next."
Essential Trip-Hop Album
Manny Ramirez | 09/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Former Massive Attack member, Tricky, strikes gold with his debut CD, Maxinquaye. This album has an almost surreal effect to it. The fact that the lyrics can be undistinguishable at times adds to that effect. Each track has its own mood to it and this is a CD that you will not get bored listening to. All the tracks are excellent but especially, Overcome, Black Steel, Abbaon Fat Track, and Strugglin'. If you are getting into trip-hop then you must buy this CD. Especially recommended for those who have all 3 Massive Attack CDs and Dummy by Portishead."
Pioneering new pop electronica
Manny Ramirez | 07/18/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was probably the most groundbreaking debut album of 1995. On the first listen no-one probably really dug it. The percussion sounded like no other drum known to mankind, the guy whose name's on the cover starts (kinda) singing only on the fourth track and even then it's some low non-melodic beat thingie, and the girl who sings most lyrics sounds (kinda) beautiful but that was so damn quirky. Those who remembered 1993 well immediately thought of Björk (later there really was a connection - Tricky produced parts of her excellent "Post" album that came out the same year). Basically that was twisted rap and soul. Outstanding tracks: "Pumpkin" with it's improvised gibberish vocals and quiet 3/4 beat, "Overcome" with it's electronic instrumentation, "Black Steel" - a "Public Enemy" song turned into speed metal. Good marketing and beautiful videos (Tricky later told he hates them) made this album sell more than half a milli! on. It became one of 90's most influential albums, proclaiming the electronica revolution; to put it simpler, dozens of other artists copied its ideas, so Tricky, true to his love of risks and experimentalism, dumped them and moved on to produce his later, much trickier - and much better records. Thus, compared to his 1996 "Pre-Millenium Tension", "Maxinquaye" is pure pop."
Trip-hop is not real, Tricky is!
Un Anglophile | 11/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"as an owner of every album tricky has done i have to say "maxinquaye" is the best. some of the most hypnotic beats i've ever heard, tricky's voice combined with martina's is just a unique sound, and lyrically these are some of the most awsome words i've ever read, tricky here talks about such themes as sex, power and other usual issues but he doesn't do it in the usual way, not as explicit, but always clever. the best track here is definetely "Aftermath", i heard it and fell in love with it inmediatly, it has great beats, and martina at her best. the only track i don't like here is "stugglin", it just isn't at the same level as the rest of the album, it could have been in "angels with diry faces" (and still would have been one of the worst tracks) other favourites are: hell is..., you don't, ponderosa, black steel, well the whole album is great."