Blowback (album)

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Tricky - Blowback.jpg
Studio album by Tricky
Released 2 July 2001 (2001-07-02)
Genre Funk rock, dancehall, pop
Length 58:36
Label ANTI-, Hollywood
Producer Tricky
Tricky chronology

Blowback is the 2001 fifth studio album by English rapper and producer Tricky. It features more accessible, popular song structures than his previous records. Tricky later said he "did Blowback for the money basically 'cause I was broke".[1] Guest performers on the album included Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Josh Klinghoffer, and John Frusciante from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette, Ed Kowalczyk, and less known artists such as Hawkman, Stephanie McKay and Ambersunshower.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 65/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly B+[5]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[6]
NME 6/10[7]
Pitchfork 3.1/10[8]
Q 4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[10]
Spin 5/10[11]
The Village Voice A[12]

Blowback received generally positive reviews from critics,[2] although many of Tricky's longtime fans disliked it.[13] According to Encyclopedia of Popular Music writer Colin Larkin, it was hailed as Tricky's best record since his 1995 debut Maxinquaye,[4] while PopMatters critic Jeffrey Thiessen later called it "a great pop album nobody liked".[13] Simon Price regarded Blowback as Tricky's best album since 1996's Pre-Millennium Tension and "his most accessible since Maxinquaye. He wrote in his review for The Independent at the time that the artist's move to New York "away from the petty politics of the music business" had resulted in "a dark, dense album of future-funk and deep dub".[14] In The New York Times, Neil Strauss called it a radical departure from previous Tricky records, "direct and upfront, the poppiest production Tricky has ever mustered".[15] NME reviewer Sarah Dempster was less receptive, expressing disappointment in Tricky's choice of guest artists, who she felt came off as "market-friendly gimmicks, novelties that will afford his selective ramblings a wider audience".[7] Pitchfork's Brent DiCrescenzo was even more critical, deeming much of the music "horrible" and plagued by Tricky's poor lapses in creative judgment, particularly the duets with Anthony Kiedis and Ed Kowalczyk.[8]

Blowback was named the fourth best album of 2001 by Village Voice critic Robert Christgau.[16] In retrospect, he viewed it as Tricky's most "songful" release, one that was "criminally neglected" by listeners.[17] Bill Friskics-Warren later said Blowback was "an album of funk-rock by way of dancehall reggae" that relied on mainstream-rock guest performers but did not "forego incisiveness for accessibility, resistance for appeasement".[18]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Excess" – 4:43
  2. "Evolution Revolution Love" – 4:09
  3. "Over Me" – 2:57
  4. "Girls" – 4:21
  5. "You Don't Wanna" – 5:25
  6. "#1 Da Woman" – 2:40
  7. "Your Name" – 3:35
  8. "Diss Never (Dig Up We History)" – 2:50
  9. "Bury the Evidence" – 4:51
  10. "Something in the Way" – 3:24 (Nirvana cover)
  11. "Five Days" – 4:19 (With Cyndi Lauper)
  12. "Give It to 'Em" – 3:04
  13. "A Song for Yukiko" – 4:10

Track notes[edit]

  • "Excess" (track 1) contains backing vocals by Alanis Morissette.
  • "Evolution Revolution Love" (track 2) features Ed Kowalczyk of the American rock band Live singing the vocals for the chorus.
  • The backing track for "You Don't Wanna" is sampled from the Eurythmics' song "Sweet Dreams".
  • "Girls" features former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante on guitar and current vocalist Anthony Kiedis on backing vocals.
  • "#1 Da Woman" (track 6) features Frusciante and bandmate Flea, respectively on guitar/chorus vocals and bass. It also features Josh Klinghoffer, current Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist on drums. This song contains an interpolation of the title song for the TV series Wonder Woman.
  • "Something in the Way" (track 10) is a cover of the song originally performed by Nirvana on their album Nevermind.
  • "Five Days" (track 11) contains guest vocals by Cyndi Lauper.
  • "Your Name" is a version of "Under the Bamboo Tree", written by Bob Cole.


Chart (2001) Peak
UK Albums Chart[19] 34
US Billboard 200[20] 138


  1. ^ "Tricky". Exclaim!. June 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Metacritic
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2011). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 3535. ISBN 0857125958. 
  5. ^ Sellout, you say? Think again: Tricky provides just enough wicked topspin to give his pop a loopy bounce. [13 July 2001, p.86]
  6. ^ Simpson, Dave (28 June 2001). "Laying the Skeletons to Rest". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Dempster, Sarah (30 June 2001). "Review". NME. p. 43. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Q (8/01, p.141) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...It should remind long-disillusioned fans what they liked about tricky in the first place....still strange and uncategorisable..."
  10. ^
  11. ^ Gross, Joe (August 2001). "Blowback". Spin. New York: 134–135. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (7 August 2001). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Thiessen, Jeffrey (24 January 2013). "A Great Pop Album Nobody Liked: Tricky's 'Blowback'". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Price, Simon (1 July 2001). "Blowback". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 February 2003. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Strauss, Neil (23 June 2001). "Pop Review; Living Up to His Name, Tricky Flips His Moods". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  16. ^ Pazz & Jop 2001: Dean's List. The Village Voice.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 November 2010). "Expert Witness: Shad/Tricky". MSN Music. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  18. ^ Friskics-Warren, Bill (2006). "The Great Wrong Place In Which We Live". I'll Take You There: Pop Music and the Urge for Transcendence. A&C Black. p. 111. ISBN 0826419216. 
  19. ^ "Tricky". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "Tricky - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 

External links[edit]