Blowback (album)

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Tricky - Blowback.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 July 2001 (2001-07-02)
StudioCandy Sound, Durban Studios, Ocean Way, Sarm West, Wonder Station[1]
Tricky chronology

Blowback is the fifth studio album by English rapper and producer Tricky. It was released on June 26, 2001.[1]


The album features more accessible, popular song structures than his previous records. Tricky later said he "did Blowback for the money, basically 'cause I was broke".[2] He recorded the album with guest musicians, including Red Hot Chili Peppers members Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Josh Klinghoffer, and John Frusciante; Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette, Ed Kowalczyk, and less known artists such as Hawkman, Stephanie McKay and Ambersunshower. "I turned up at the studio and nothing was written," Morissette recalled. "We just worked on it there. He's a very funny man."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[6]
The Guardian4/5 stars[7]
Q4/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[11]
The Village VoiceA[13]

Blowback received generally positive reviews from critics,[4] although many of Tricky's longtime fans disliked it.[14] According to Encyclopedia of Popular Music writer Colin Larkin, it was hailed as Tricky's best record since his 1995 debut Maxinquaye,[5] while PopMatters critic Jeffrey Thiessen later called it "a great pop album nobody liked".[14] 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".[15] 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".[16] The Indianapolis Star described it as Tricky's attempt to "prove there's at least one more rap-rock album that's worth a listen".[17] Writing for The Guardian, Dave Simpson was surprised by how "deliriously uplifting, even humorous", the music was, while encompassing "everything from rap-metal (of which there's lots...) to ragga, US power-pop, granite beats, supernatural ambience and even New Romantic. At the same time, it is uniquely, inimitably Tricky."[7]

Some reviewers were more critical. The Wire said while "some of it is just odd enough to work", the album's fusion of hip hop, electro, dancehall, and, "most problematically, stadium alt.rock" proved to be an intriguing but frustrating listen.[18] NME magazine's Sarah Dempster was disappointed 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".[8] While viewing it as further evidence of Tricky's evolution from trip hop toward becoming "some sort of rap-pop revolutionary", Pitchfork's Brent DiCrescenzo found much of the music "horrible" and plagued by the musician's poor lapses in creative judgment, particularly his duets with Anthony Kiedis and Ed Kowalczyk.[9]

Blowback was named the fourth best album of 2001 by Village Voice critic Robert Christgau.[19] In retrospect, he viewed it as Tricky's most "songful" release, one that was "criminally neglected" by listeners.[20] 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".[21]

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


Chart (2001) Peak
UK Albums Chart[22] 34
US Billboard 200[23] 138

As of September 2003 it has sold 95,000 copies in United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. [24] And in France it has sold 98,800 copies.[25]


  1. ^ a b c "Blowback [Bonus Tracks] - Tricky - Release Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Tricky". Exclaim!. June 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  3. ^ Blake, Mark (October 2001). "I believed if I had sex I would be damned in hell forever". Q. p. 48.
  4. ^ a b "Blowback by Tricky" – via
  5. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2011). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 3535. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  6. ^ Sellout, you say? Think again: Tricky provides just enough wicked topspin to give his pop a loopy bounce. [13 July 2001, p.86]
  7. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (28 June 2001). "Laying the Skeletons to Rest". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b Dempster, Sarah (30 June 2001). "Review". NME. p. 43.
  9. ^ a b DiCrescenzo, Brent (2 July 2001). "Tricky: Blowback". Pitchfork. Chicago, Illinois: Pitchfork Media.
  10. ^ 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..."
  11. ^ Harig, Roni (5 June 2001). "Tricky: Blowback". Rolling Stone. New York City: Wenner Media LLC. Archived from the original on 26 February 2010.
  12. ^ Gross, Joe (August 2001). "Blowback". Spin. Los Angeles, California: SpinMedia: 134–135. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (7 August 2001). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  14. ^ a b Thiessen, Jeffrey (24 January 2013). "A Great Pop Album Nobody Liked: Tricky's 'Blowback'". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  15. ^ Price, Simon (1 July 2001). "Blowback". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 February 2003. Retrieved 23 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  16. ^ Strauss, Neil (23 June 2001). "Pop Review; Living Up to His Name, Tricky Flips His Moods". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Tricky gets glossy with his guests". The Indianapolis Star. 16 September 2001. p. 125. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  18. ^ Anon. (July 2001). "Review". The Wire. No. 209. p. 62.
  19. ^ Pazz & Jop 2001: Dean's List. The Village Voice.
  20. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 November 2010). "Expert Witness: Shad/Tricky". MSN Music. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "Tricky". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Tricky - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  24. ^ Group, Vibe Media (September 2003). "Vibe".
  25. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Meilleurs Ventes d'Albums "Tout Temps" (33 T. / Cd / Téléchargement)".

External links[edit]