Most people will recognize the name Martina Topley-Bird as the female voice from Tricky’s albums. But Topley-Bird proves that she can write and produce on her debut album Anything. Released in the U.K. as Quixotic, Anything is as much electronic as it is soulful. “Ragga” is a club-worthy collaboration with Tricky where Topley-Bird sounds a lot like Erykah Badu moaning, “I’m doing things I wouldn’t normally do.”
“Need One” proves that Topley-Bird can rock with the best, imploring guitars and vocals from Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Mark Lanagan. The most sultry song on her debut is “Soul Food.” Subtle strings underlie the sensual beats, sounding a lot like a Zero 7 outtake and ending with Topley-Bird sounding like a combination of Nina Simone and Badu, singing “Take all the time you need” as it fades into the end.
Although this album has been out for two years, it still sounds new and refreshing. It’s subtly sexy and works almost as well for boinking music as R. Kelly. Almost. Unlike most of R. Kelly’s work, however, Anything is an album that can and should be recognized as a piece of art, not just good grooving music.
Palm Pictures: www.palmpictures.com