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Pre-Millennium Tension

3.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 20 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001EA8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,994 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Vent
2. Christiansands
3. Tricky Kid
4. Bad Dream
5. Makes Me Wanna Die
6. Ghetto Youth
7. Sex Drive
8. Bad Things
9. Lyrics Of Fury
10. My Evil Is Strong
11. Piano

Product Description


Pre-Millennium Tension picks up where the first album, Maxinquaye, left off, but this CD fulfils the promise of Tricky's unbounded spontaneity and fondness for sonic digression. Abandoning the accessible pop of Maxinquaye, Pre-Millennium Tension serves up a beguiling array of sound effects, electro distortion and fragmented lyrics that amount to a rich--if bizarre-musical montage. As suggested by its title, this disc zeros in on a kind of end-of-the-millennium disruption of classifiable sound. With its cross-pollination of hip-hop, cabaret balladry, background textures, and disjointed arrangements, Pre-Millennium Tension takes a peek at the future of pop music and declares it will be nothing like we expect. --Nick Heil

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't know what it is. I can't quite explain it. Every time I listen to PMT though I feel it. The songs are like a vaccum, they move through you and fill you with a void. It's the only album in my collection that presents a sort of hollow apathy towards the world as if it sees everything in some sort of half-sleep state where you'd only partially understand the world as you normally would.
I think this is Tricky's most important album, and the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is simply because you can't listen to it whenever you want to. The music is very abstract, and the voices and lyrics are usually garbled or spoken in a seemingly disjointed manner that doesn't really follow any clear method. Thoughts and analysis ruin the album, and you have to listen to the voices and not the words being spoken. If you listen to it around lunch-time when you're wide-eyed awake and dilligently pursuing some errand in your day, you'll be thinking and moving too fast to get this. The moon and stars have to be around when you hear this, and even then you have to be in a certain state of mind; you basically have to be in a mental place where you don't particularly care about anything. Then, this album comes alive and engulfs your brain like cold black tar. It flows over you and through you, like some faceless phantom.
It's hard to explain, this is a truly unique album. Despite how many times you listen to it or try to get into it, you'll never appreciate it until you hear it under the right circumstances.
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By A Customer on Oct. 19 2002
Format: Audio CD
I can understand why some people can't really get into this whole album. A lot of it is really out there and doesn't vibe to beats you can really nod your head to. But I like strange, off-the-beaten-path music and this stuff certainly qualifies.
"Vent" kicks off the album with a steady, relentless drum-roll beat, what sounds like highly tortured backwards guitar, layers of trademark sampled percussion and Martina repeating, " Can't hardly breath" - very claustrophobic. "Christiansands" and "Tricky Kid" are fabulous - classic Tricky. "Bad Dream" is less compelling but pretty good. "[She] Makes Me Wanna Die" has a laid-back hip-hop beat with nice vocals and melody. But the lyrics make me kind of uncomfortable - especially listening with my girlfriend. I don't know, sweetly singing "She makes me wanna die" is uncomfortably creepy to me.
No one should be complaining that they can't understand the "Ghetto Youth;" neither can I, but I find the cant fascinating and I'm grateful to be exposed to something so alien to me. If I rejected all the vocals I couldn't understand, I'd have to get rid of nearly half my CDs!
"Sex Drive" has that fluttering, rolling off the rails quality one hears in "Vent." "Bad Things" is murky and dark while "Lyrics of Fury" is a hyperkenetic rap. "My Evil is Strong" is very experimental, very rambling and pure genius. Finally, "Piano" has an ominous atmosphere. Tricky recites a staggered rap over what sounds like breathing machines pumping in rhythm to the spare piano chords.
Not for everyone, but it took me a few listens to digest the compellingly innovative sounds on this album. Tricky's where it's at!
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Format: Audio CD
From a Diehard fan's point of view, I shun every reviewer who has given this album a poor review. Its not pop or mainstream music. Its an artistic album with a lot of experimental beats and rhythms to it. Never has anything sounded like this before. I thought Tricky couldn't top Maxinquaye's surreal mystique and inventive beats. I was wrong. This is a 180 degree turn but its exactly perfect for Tricky to explore new territory. Maxinquaye is more of a dream album. Pre-Millenium is more like an apocalyptic nightmare vision. Pre-Millenium is more angst driven than all his other albums. Its an album of self-discovery. Much of the lyrics is about Tricky's life struggle and what he is feeling. And he's venting out his rage. Lyrically, its the most brilliant and creative. Almost to the point of insanity. You'll hear roaring drums at the start with the eruption of the first track, "Vent." The screaching of guitars in this is unbelievably incredible. This flows right into "Christiansands," an r&b flavor track that's closer to pop than the rest of the tracks. Many consider this to be Tricky's best song on here. Its a great song to listen to at a party but it seems a little out of place and should have been on Maxinquaye instead of this. The strength of the cd comes later with "Bad Dream, My Evil Is Strong, Lyrics Of Fury and Piano." These songs sound very industrial and heavy. I especially love, "Lyrics Of Fury." Martina raps the entire song over almost nothing but a single drum beat. The song is played in almost all his live shows with a lot of fury and passion behind it. I always push repeat on this track and on the track "Bad Dream," my two favorites on the album. Many people complain about rubbish and don't understand the true art behind Pre-Millenium Tension.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
The good parts of "Maxinquaye" are amplified a bit here; there's better lyric writing, the contrast between Tricky and Maxine's voices are played up, the sampling and programming draws on a wider range of sounds, and the production is ace. But the same thing that hurts Maxinquaye hurts this one as well; the unchanging repetitive nature of the songs. If you're going to do a long repetitive piece, you HAVE to mess with the sonic density and texture of the piece to keep it from being numbing, or even worse, snooze-inducing, and once again, Tricky fails to do that. As a result, like Maxinquaye, this could have benefited from having anywhere from one to five minutes lopped off of every single song. I don't have anything against long songs or repetition, but when the repetition isn't going anywhere sonically and doesn't have a purpose, what's the point? Check out Aphex Twin, early Tangerine Dream, later Hawkwind, Harmonia, Can, and Eno to hear repetition done right.
This could have been a four-star CD with better editing and more sonic innovation. But ultimately it fails in its mission, and by the end of the CD it trails off in a miasma of sameness. Too bad.
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