Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Tricky: Blowback [Hollywood, 2001]
I have no idea whether this will prove the smash Maxinquaye wasn't--well, actually I do, but I promise to keep it quiet if you do. For sure he's presented his new label with his first song album since then. Where once were textures you could write a poem about now are textures you can hang a tune on. And forget P.J. Harvey for clout, this one's got the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alanis Morissette and, uh, Live and Cyndi Lauper--all of whom sound fabulous. Yes, he's still very down in the mouth. With him, that's a matter of principle. But his defiance is more coherent, his mysticism more visionary. And if it's not gauche of me to mention it, he rocks and does a Nirvana song, not necessarily at the same time. A