At its best when it goes dark and claustrophobic - business as usual then
Nearly 20 years after auxiliary Massive Attack vocalist Tricky released his first solo single, ‘Aftermath’, little in his discography has surpassed it. Perhaps in recognition of both the anniversary and this predicament, his new album is billed as a return to the glory of ‘Maxinquaye’, the debut album that forced an awkward stardom upon this inscrutable soul. Hard to imagine the journo-battering Tricky of old resigning himself to revisiting his most celebrated manoeuvres in this way, but ‘False Idols’ is at least partly successful. Weirdly, Tricky’s presence feels minimal; his vocals take the form of gnarled, gnomic mutterances, and play second fiddle to a rotating bill of guests. Aside from ‘Parenthesis’, buoyed by the Antony-ish vocals of The Antlers’ Peter Silberman, various female sirens take turns in the Martina Topley-Bird role, and are at their best when matters get dark and claustrophobic late on: ‘Tribal Drums’, ‘We Don’t Die’ and ‘Does It’.