Maxinquaye album cover


4th & Broadway

To answer “what is jazz?,” hand somebody Kind of Blue. For “what was trip-hop,” slide over Maxinquaye—the debut from former Massive Attack vocalist-producer, Tricky. The often murky, muddy sonics on Maxinquaye (named for Tricky’s mum) would go even grimier on his future releases, with Martina Topley-Bird singing out rays of sunshine beneath the cloudiness as his perfect foil. Standout ballad “Pumpkin” sounds how the best drugs imaginable might feel like. (“Overcome” and “Abbaon Fat Tracks” are like that too.) And “Black Steel” takes Public Enemy’s “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” to realms Chuck D never imagined.

Miles Marshall Lewis

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