Home Read Classic Album Review: Tricky | Vulnerable

Classic Album Review: Tricky | Vulnerable

The triphop pioneer continues to water down his sound on this disappointing disc.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Not too many years ago he was bulletproof. Lately, however, trip-hop pioneer Tricky seems to be losing his touch.

His 2001 release Blowback was a blatant bid to break into the big leagues with radio-friendly grooves and a roster of high-wattage guest stars. What he’s out to prove with the 44-minute followup Vulnerable is slightly tougher to fathom — and only slightly less disappointing than Blowback. Once again, the raspy sandpaper growls and menacing vibes that used to be Tricky’s sonic signature have been reined in, turned down and shoved to the side to make more room for smooth but underdeveloped pop grooves, everpresent female vocals and blatantly hooky choruses. Oh, and cover tunes — Tricky inexplicably tackles both XTC’s Dear God and The Cure’s Love Cats, with dissatisfyingly tepid results. Aside from a few decently malignant tracks — mostly relegated to the back end of the disc — Vulnerable may be Tricky’s weakest effort to date.


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