In my post on the Gabe Dixon Band, I wished that there was a little more at stake in his music, and that the moderateness of it made the album seem as if nothing was at stake. I understand the sensible nature of the music; it must be tough to live when you spend your life worried about hit-level sales. I suspect that many of us would end up like Britney in the armoire if we experienced some of the pressures she’s dealt with.
This comes to mind listening to Tricky’s Knowle West Boy. The album sounds outflanked by time, and M.I.A. and Dizzee Rascal immediately came to mind as artists in more dangerous or more progressive places – the places Tricky once occupied.Â Particularly absent is the murk and ickiness of Maxinquaye and the albums that followed it, and while it must be easier to live in a less dour, self-consciously outrageous place, the music lacks urgency and edge. The trade-off makes sense – the emotionally exhausting, high risk short term for a long haul you get to enjoy – but the loss of edge is a tough loss.