Mixed Race - Domino
FILTER Grade: 81%
By Adam Pollock on September 8, 2010
A typical Tricky album comes so overstuffed with ideas—squeaks, beats and the sound of exhaling breath assault you from all sides—that it’s often not worth the trouble it takes to listen. What a joy it is then to be presented with the simplicity of one vocal at a time sung over a basic backing track. Mixed Race brims with well-formed songs played and sung with clear-headed emotion. The Kid’s penchant for guest vocalists is alive and well and his choices are inspired. A woman named Frankey Riley assumes the bulk of the duties and adapts well to the varying genres, from jazz, to blues and reggae, with the ominous “Ghetto Stars” being the perfect showcase for her talents. The man himself adds his trademark rasp, most notably on the dark, spaced-out thumper “Really Real,” a duet with Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie. The only missstep comes with the middle-eastern flavored “Hakim,” which derails the mood mid-disc. It’s an interesting composition, but it would have worked better as a bonus track.