Review - Juxtapose

Artist: Tricky with DJ Muggs and Grease

Label: Island
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Juxtapose

This project was originally set to be released under the name Stonepony. Two of rap's hottest producers -- Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs and DMX's Grease -- would join trip-hop whiz kid Tricky in the studio and explore the boundaries of hip-hop. Something happened along the way, and instead of Stonepony's debut, we get "Juxtapose," Tricky's fourth full-length album. But you'll get no complaints from this Tricky fan, as it contains some of the talented soundsmith's best work yet.

Disc opener "For Real" rides Tricky's gravel-filled voice over sparse percussion and gentle acoustic guitar strums. The Grease-helmed cuts -- "Bom Bom Diggy," "I Like the Girls" and "Hot Like a Sauna" -- are the disc's weaker moments, relying too heavily on cheesy beats and uninspired synth lines. The Muggs/Tricky pairing fares much better on "Call Me" (featuring a hypnotic vocal by D'na) and "Wash My Soul." My only gripe is the CDs brevity: It clocks in at just under 37 minutes. It's a sad day when three of the most prolific studio-heads can't come up with more than a half-hour's worth of material.