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While most psychedelic music strives to induce an out-of-body experience in the listener, the womblike hiphop of Nearly God is more about diving into the deep currents of body fluids. The closest physiological approximation of the sounds of tripmaster Tricky’s side project would be listening to your own human rhythms through a stethoscope. Tricky’s amplification turns the body’s ebb and flow into Sturm und Drang; it’s a disorienting, unbalanced, and erotic venture that sonically recalls the internal hum of your own voice when you lie submerged in a tub of water. The sounds on Nearly God are all hollowed out, lurching, and distant, and—with Tricky sharing the vocal duties with Björk, Neneh Cherry, and his usual partner, Martina Topley Bird—incredibly lusty. “Tattoo” opens the album with Tricky blowin’ smoke into the mike, before we get blunted on reality—it’s a Siouxie and the Banshees song. Tricky’s vocals are an equal mixture of eroticism and cynicism, energy and repose. He elicits similar performances from his female singers, though both Cherry and Bird are ripe and flying on “Together Now” and “Children’s Story.” The most disorienting vocal tics and tricks are by Tricky’s eerie counterpart, Björk, on “Yoga” and “Keep Your Mouth Shut,” while the two tracks with former Fun Boy Three/Specials frontman Terry Hall are sinewy and poetic. Only Alison Moyet’s overemotive “Make a Change” is a clunker. Where the rest of the singers are icy hot, Moyet pulls out her notes from Achingly Impassioned Soul 101 (team-taught by Bono and Whitney Houston). Fans of the more immediate Maxinquaye should give the deathly torch songs of Nearly God some time to burn into their memories, for they are beyond heavenly.—Christopher Porter