When I think think of one word to describe Tricky, it isn't trip-hop, because that's two words, silly. No, the one that always comes to mind, is 'experimental'. Now, that isn't meant in a music critic lazy-label kind of way. It's meant as a true compliment. Tricky is a mad scientist. And like any true scientist working away in the lab, there will be failed experiments.
Skilled Mechanics is not a failed experiment. Not by a long shot. In fact, with Skilled Mechanics, Tricky delivers one of his strongest albums to date, without a single wasted petri-dish.
Highlights of the album - and there are many, include opening track "I'm Not Going:, featuring Danish singer Oh-Land. Tricky always appears at his strongest with that feminine balance in the vocals, and Oh-Land delivers one of the strongest vocal-works since the days of Martina Topley-Bird.
As is seemingly customary now, Skilled Mechanics includes a couple of cover songs - surprising both in their appearance and execution. First, Stone Sour's "Bother" - a straightforward but no less affecting piano driven tune and "Diving Away" - an almost lullaby-like reworking of Porno For Pyros' "Porpoise Head". On the surface, it may appear that these are safe choices and you'd be right if we were talking about anyone other than Adrian Thaws, who's yet to play it safe in his entire career.