Nearly God is Tricky's unofficial second album -- he calls it a collection of brilliant, incomplete demos. When Tricky signed his contract with Island, it allowed him to release an album a year under a different name and Nearly God is the first of these efforts. Tricky recorded the record with a diverse cast of collaborators -- in addition to his partner Martina, there's Terry Hall, Björk, Neneh Cherry, Cath Coffey, Dedi Madden, and Alison Moyet (Damon Albarn pulled his track just before the album's release). Building on the ghostly, dark soundscapes of Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, Nearly God narrows the focus of his first record by making the music slower, hazier, and more distubing. It's not as coherent as Maxinquaye, but that's part of its appeal. Nearly God is a haunting, fractured, surreal nightmare that doesn't always make sense, but never fails to make an impact. Certain collaborators work better than others -- Tricky understands the eeriness of Terry Hall's voice, but he does nothing to tame Alison Moyet's inappropriate bluesy shrieking -- but the overall effect of the album is quietly devastating. It gets under your skin and stays there. It's a brilliantly evocative nightmare.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Neneh Cherry
feat: Alison Moyet
feat: Terry Hall
feat: Cath Coffey