Massive Attack are said to be the UK's biggest trip-hop (downtempo electronic music) artist of the 20th century. Debuting in 1991 with 'Blue Lines', featuring songs like 'Unfinished Sympathy', the early Massive attack focused themselves heavily on combining electronic bass, drums and strings with regular appearances from powerful male and female guest singers. One unmentioned attribute which really brought this sound together though, was the soft, lazy, relaxed rapping which sounded over the top of the majority of songs they produced.
What I love most about this group is the way in which their unique sound has stood the test of time - through decades. For the release of 'Mezzanine' in April 1998 for example, nothing of the bands previous albums style had been lost - the bass, guitar, voice, rap (to a lesser extent), and atmosphere was the same (if not imporoved).
For me, Mezzanine is the best album they have ever produced, because the intent to inspire and encapsulate the listener is achieved. When you listen to this album, you litterally become entranced by the pyschedelic sound - its stunning.
4. Inertia Creeps
6. Dissolved Girl
7. man Next Door
8. Black Milk
10. Group Four
'Angel' opens the album with a strong bass presence and electric guitar overlay which really fills out the track in a deep, meaningful way. The soft drawn out vocals complete the sound and the song is a gradual but complex build up of volume, tention and expression. At the height, electronic sounds of greater trebel make up the higher field of tone, whilst powerful bass vibrations continue to elate the lower field.
'Risingson' is a sampled mix of 'I found a reason' by the Velvet Underground, a considerably more atmospheric, bassy mix, as expected. The vocals are exceptionally well placed in this track, seeming to blend graciously from recognisable word and sentence through to muffled sound and bass. This track follows Angel well and leads onto 'Teardrop' even better.
The third track of the album features one of the best vocal performances of any album produced in recent times. Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins (a Scottish alternative rock band of the 1970s-90s) puts on a wonderful show of voiced talent. Her extremely atmospheric tones and timing (...and I know I keep using atmospheric as a descriptive, but it's just too relevant) make this track. The usual bass and electronic effects are present here, but the instrument which makes the biggest impact is the slow, repetative drum beat which sounds throughout.
'Inertia Creeps' is for me one of the better tracks of the album. It contains all the same elements of sound, but with an added Asian feeling guitar sound and interesting change of chord progression. It isn't until 3.30 that a more upbeat drum beat comes in to change the balance of the track for the better.
'Exchange' features heavily around a very un-electronic sounding bass guitar which blends into the electronic sound we've come to know and love about a minute into the song. The album as a whole, but perhaps more this song in particular, feels like specially designed background music to a party, or an oddly shot film of some description. Exchange is purely instrumental, which is possibly what lead to me having that thought.
'Dissolved Girl is a song that has featured in several films and advertising campaigns, including The Matrix, one of the most thought provoking films of recent times. And it is with good reason that this track was selected for that particular role. It sounds pyschedelic as usual, but also seemingly unique, with a new female singer brough into the equation, and a wider use of heavy electric guitar across the majority of the track, this song is one of the favourites of mine.
'Man Next Door' samples Saturday Night by The Cure and When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin (a much loved track and artist by myself). I feel the drum beat sampled from Zeppelin could work well in many scenarios, but Massive have created a really nice sound here with its assistence. The great volcals in this track and actual melody of the voice combined with the instrumental side works really well.
'Black Milk' opens with soft piano sounds and heavy electronic bass before bursting out with an excellent drum beat (though classically simple), and vocal sound from yet another featured female artist.
'Mezzanine' is one of the weaker songs from the album in my opinion, but it still has the same sounds and elements of the other tracks which make it a more than decent effort.
'Group Four' is basically the same song as Mezzanine but with the added ellusion of an additional female singers voice. This is actually quite irritating, because you really do want the album to keep at the opening high standard throughout, but it just seems as though the writers weakened their efforts towards the end of the album - as though it was rushed in some way.
Despite what I wrote of the previous two tracks, Massive do end the album on a high with the final song, 'Exchange'. Used as the outro to a film I have not seen, the song see's the return of the male singer from Man Next Door with more electronic sounds and bass intrusions. The beat to this track is spaced out and almost random in tempo the hits are so infrequent.
All in all then a very very good album. If only those two tracks near the end hadn't let the line-up down, the album would have been flawless. The simple fact that this band/group were able and managed to keep to the sound they began with and always loved, standing the test of time, is a testament to the fairness of the British recording scene.
Following on from the classic Protection, Mezzanine is a moody album full of achingly beautiful, melancholic songs.
For me the stand out songs on this album are, Angel with the ubiquitous collaborator Horace Andy, which is beautiful and odd at the same time, Teardrop with Cocteau Twin, Liz Fraser is a stand out, the lyrics and music are beautiful but her voice absolutely blows me away, as she sings about love, it's a beautiful song, much played on television and radio and deservedly so.
Dissolved Girl is a moody piece which really sounds mysterious and strange whilst Inertia Creeps builds slowly and is a wonderfully composed piece of music, it is a great example of the evolution of Massive Attack and where they were taking their sound at the time. Rising Son is a cool tune whilst Fraser again appears on Black Milk, where her fragile voice combines perfectly with the gravelly sound of Robert Del Naja.
Overall for me, this isn't as good as Protection in some ways, it lacks the killer tunes, but it also lacks any filler, its an interesting album and one to listen to on a rainy day when you can't go out and can really concentrate to get the full understanding of the piece.
There are dark moments on this album, its much darker than Protection and Blue Lines, but also moments of true beauty, the collaborators in Andy and Fraser play their parts perfectly and the bass heavy scores continue to both intrigue and divide fans equally.
This album is a 3 out of 5 for me, but in the future could become a 4 as I still don't yet feel that I've fully grasped it and plan to go back and listen further, for me that's a positive sign and sums up Massive Attack in many ways. A band that keep you coming back for more.
All in all, I think Massive Attack were at the forefront of Trip Hop and this is their last Trip Hop album, as they meld basslines with industrial beats, beautifully delicate vocals and prog-rock akin to Radiohead, its a really thoughtful and inventive album, my 3 out of 5 is a work in progress and I hope to enjoy this even more in the future, from that perspective, I guess its great value as a long-term album that still intrigues after 12 years, so I will give it a 4 out of 5.
The album is still available in all good music stores, as a fan I bought it in HMV for £9.99 on release in 1998, it is now available for 99p on Marketplace or £4.47 on Amazon.
4. Inertia Creeps
6. Dissolved Girl
7. Man Next Door
8. Black Milk
10. Group Four
I cannot believe that this album is over ten years old, but it is having been released in 1998. Arguably the high point for Massive Attack, it enjoyed both critical success and excellent sales going Platinum in the UK. It regularly features in the lists of best albums, coming in at number 15 in Q Magazine's top 100 Greatest British Albums Ever, and no 412 in Rolling Stone magazines 500 greatest albums of all time.
It has been described as based in the Trip Hop genre. I have no idea what that means, but if I were to give a description of the tone of the album it would be dark. Full of deep, rhythmic bass lines and samples of 60s and 70s classics, you could describe it as chilled. And yet there seems to be a menace lurking thoroughout the tracks, giving it the feel of a horror film. There is something in the dark, unnerving, waiting. Perhaps this sense is due to the fact that the band was going through a difficult phase and shortly after the CD was complete, band member Andrew Vowles left. The tension literally works its way into the songs, fuelling the tracks.
If you think you have never heard any of the tracks, then think again. The majority of the tracks have found their way into the media via TV and film. Take the first track, Angels, for instance. Used primarily in the Addidas Predator ad campaign and in the films Snatch and End of Days. It is slow paced, with a bass line steadily building up. As it works though the 6 minutes, low pitched vocals are slowly introduced. The two gather pace and reach a crescendo with a rock guitar dominating the middle section before returning to the slow pace, rhythmic bassline.
The of course there is Teardrop, made famous for it's video which sowed nothing more than a foetus in the womb, lip synching the words as sung by the Cocteau Twins Elizabeth Fraser. Again it gained more exposure being used in the US for the title sequence of House starring Hugh Lauire.
Track 7 is entitled Man Next Door and uses a sample of a Cure track, 10:15 Saturday Night. It depicts the horrors of living in a neighbourhood with violence and bad neighbours. The pounding of the drums echoes the vocals of reggae artist Horace Andy, who describes someone who knows it is time to move on.
There are twelve tracks in total lasting a little over an hour, and despite the brooding menace of the bass line and the haunting vocals, it will breeze by without so much as an interruption. The three tracks above are not necessarily the best, just the three that come to mind when I think of the CD. Of all the CDs I own, I would rank this amongst my top 5, which when I consider the other 4, is pretty impressive.
If you haven't listened to this, then there is no reason not to. It is a cd that transcends all genres, no matter what your tastes. When you consider this album has had tracks covered by artists as varied as Sepultura, Newton Faulkner, Incubus, Simple Minds and Elbow, you begin to understand both the strength and appeal of the songs. It costs £4.95 from amazon.co.uk and is worth every penny.
I first heard Massive Attack back in 1991 when they were known simply as 'Massive', having been pressured to drop the 'Attack' part because of the Gulf war. This was only a brief name change, however, before they returned to being Massive Attack.
The band sparked the trendy 'trip hop' sound in 1991 and originally started out with three members, DJs Grantley "Grant" Marshall , Andrew Vowles and painter-turned-MC Robert Del Naja. They have collaborated with Madonna, David Bowie and many others over the years and have had many guest vocalists which has became their trademark. Roots reggae veteran Horace Andy has featured on all of their regular studio albums.
The band had enjoyed success with the single release 'Unfinished Sympathy' featuring Shara Nelson on vocals. My liking for this song led me to buy their debut album 'Blue Lines'. This was followed up with 'Protection' in 1993 which featured the brilliant Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl.
But when 1998 rolled around, trip-hop was no longer the 'in' music anymore. Yet Massive Attack came up with a brilliant album which many thought surpassed their previous effforts. Produced by Neil Davidge along with the band, Mezzanine, with its dark-edged sound, ensured the band remained relevant and it reached the number one spot in the UK album chart.
Keeping up with using guest vocalists on their work, they brought in Elizabeth Fraser from The Cocteau Twins for their third album Mezzanine.
The tracks :
4. Inertia Creeps
6. Dissolved Girl
7. Man Next Door
8. Black Milk
10. Group Four
When I initially heard that Elizabeth Fraser was to feature on the album I had mixed feelings about it, as I am a big fan of Tracey Thorn and thought she couldn't be matched for what she had brought to the band's previous album.
I saw Fraser's band, The Cocteau Twins back in the 80's when they were a support act for Simple Minds and I had not been impressed back then. Fraser had a screeching voice and stood on the stage beating her chest with her fist whilst she sang. Very strange!
However, I was really surprised by how much I like her vocals on the tracks which she features on. 'Teardrop' is brilliant, a single release which also features on TV Dramas and Trailers. It is my favourite track as Fraser delivers a hauntingly beautiful vocal as she sings this melancholy lament :
"Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word
Fearless on my breath..."
Fraser continues to excel as she sings on 'Black Milk' and duets with Del Naja on 'Group Four'. The latter being a great track as the exchange between their two voices on this duet is a stark contrast in style which works really well. De Naja's deep vocals feature heavily throughout the album and are a perfect match for the deep thudding bassline which accompanies Massive Attack's songs.
Other stand out tracks on the album are the opening track 'Angel' featuring Horace Andy, it is a mesmerizing track beginning with a heavy bassline and building throughout, incorporating crashing symbals and drums with a guitar heavy chorus. It paves the way for the rest of the album which flows perfectly from start to finish.
'Inertia Creeps' whilst quite repetitive, is another favourite of mine with its slow-pulse beats. It revolves around an intense, pounding bassline, whilst the monotone vocal tellling you : "Inertia creeps, moving up slowly" is almost hypnotic. It's very dark, but then again the whole album is. It's a brilliant album to play at night with the lights down low.
'Rising Son' begins with whales and some weird sound effects, before the bassline and vocals begin. The poignant line at the end of the verses : "See me run now you're gone...Dream on" is very effective.
There are no tracks I would really class as weak tracks. I do have one small gripe though and that is 'Exchange', which is a laidback instrumental in the middle of the album and whilst it is pleasant enough, they reprise it at the end featuring Horace Andy's vocals. It just doesn't feel right to me with the vocals. Indeed Andy does a much better job vocally, with the ominous 'Man Next Door'.
In my opinion, Mezzanine should have bowed out with the brilliant 'Group Four', but this is only a minor niggle and doesn't really detract from the brilliance of this album.
Vocalist Sara Jay does a great job with 'Dissolved Girl' which is a much heavier track than 'Teardrop', she delivers a deep and meaningful vocal with plenty of emotion.
Mezzanine features some great sounds as well as the different vocalists and whilst no two tracks sound the same, the intense basslines ensure the continuity and flow of the album.
The band prefer to take their time making albums and one of their strengths is their indifference to passing fads. They give their time to making music with longevity and Mezzanine is an album I will never grow tired of.
Yes it's dark, broody and moody but it is a masterpiece. It was also well received by the critics. Q magazine placed Mezzanine at number 15 in their greatest British albums ever list and it also featured in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time.
An absolutely stunning album.
This album is one of the defining albums of the trip hop movement in the 90s. This is the record where massive attack took their soul/dub/hip hop influenced sound in a totally new direction, adding live instruments, original arrangements and making a much darker noise.
These are my album highlights:
Angel builds and builds into a massive heavy metal wall of sound. You have probably heard it in adverts, on the West Wing or in the film Flight of the Phoenix.
Risingson builds walls of dub and electronica around an old velvet underground sample
Teardrop is beautiful and sparse
Inertia creeps is a dense, creepy sounding song with asian influences
Group 4 is everything great about the record crammed into an epic song
All in all the whole album creates a dark mysterious mood and you can't help but get sucked in
Here's looking forward to the new album, out later 2008
Being a Massive Attack fan, I ended up buying this album almost as soon as it was released, and very quickly learned the value of NOT expecting the expected when impulse buying an album! This, the Massive's fourth album has turned their blissful mellow shades much darker adding a threatening air to what was once a peaceful ambiance. Even the album cover is scary, with a big biomechanical beetle stretching across the front and back sleeves - this should serve as a warning to all about to open up the case and pup the shiny disc into your favourite player. The album opens with the menacing bass fade-in of "Angel" - probably my favourite track on the entire album. Massive Attack (and reggae) veteran collaborator Horace Andy supplies the vocals of this hauntingly beautiful-yet-ugly number. "Angel" was used in the Guy Richie movie "Snatch" in the scene where Mickey's mum gets burnt alive in her caravan in what to my mind is the greatest ever moment in movie soundtrack history - a terrifying scene matched by equally terrifying music and cinematography. "Rising Son" continues this this dark theme - keeping everything clouded in mystery. It rumbles along with 3-D's debut on the album and features a bizarre break with one of the most amazing sounds I've ever heard - something I would love to hear live. The best known track on the album is probably "Tears" - the one with the foetus-video. This track is incredibly beautiful, and the video has to be the most compelling I've ever seen. Still though, it's in some way scary, insecure and dark. But if this tracks calms you down and lulls you to sleep, "Inertia Creeps" returns to the none-too-subtle threatening theme with another menacing, pulsating bass line. There then follows "Escape" - a slightly reggae'd instrumental which leaves you with your feet back on solid ground, a bit more relax
ed. This track is reprised at the end of the album, seemingly in an effort to make you feel safe again after the previous foray into the underworld. "Dissolved Girl" is a bit more traditional of the Massive - typical of almost anything from Protection - the previous album. Horace Andy returns again on "Man Next Door" for a tune that would sound very jolly if it weren't for the industrial drums. That said, it's still not as threatening as the first half of the disc! "Black Milk" and "Mezzanine" are both quite evil-sounding. Every time I listen to this album, I get the feeling that I don't know what's going on. This album is a masterpeice of deception - you can't tell whether the tracks are happy or sad, cheerful or depressing. That said, it's worth investigating as it shows a continued effort on the part of band to develop and seek out new sounds/beats/styles. Like Radiohead's recent adventures, we can't complain much when a band decide they don't want to stay safe in the rut, but want to develop and see what else they can do - all in all, this album is very good and very though-provoking, despite not being the kind of album you'd like to fall asleep to (unless you want a few nightmares!). And aside from all this, it's well worth it even for "Angel".
Hmm, well I'm going to proceed with this review despite the fact that I know little about the band Massive Attack. I borrowed a copy of this CD from my boyfriend who was convinced that I'd like it for my more chilled-out, laid back listening moods and, boy, was he right! I was surprised at how many tracks were familiar to me as either music accompanying TV advertisements or background music to TV programmes so it seemed like I already knew the album to some extent even on my first proper listening. Ok, so here's a rundown of what you can expect from the tracks: We start with "Angel" - a very basic, bassy track with a female vocalist - this sounds very familiar to me - on another advert perhaps? A very chilled out and easy to listen to track. This is followed by "Rising Sun", another bassy track with a semi-rapping male vocal this time, very atmospheric - dark in a light sort of way if that makes sense?! "Teardrop" is another familiar track to me with a light female vocal and light backing with the vocalist to the foreground, a very slow track too. "Insite Creeps" is a faster track with a soft male vocal almost talking over it with a rather sinister musical backing. Followed by "Exchange" which is another very slow, laid back number, somewhat nothingy and unmemorable with soft male vocals again. "Dissolved Girl" is yet another strangely familar track to me - I'm thinking TV adverts again! Low key, with whispery female vocals and a somewhat funky backing broken into by a somehwat unexpectedly heavy bassy guitar interlude. "Man Next Door" is another very bassy track with a 'black' sounding male vocal and slightly more upbeat. This is followed by "Black Milk", again very low key and slow, more whispery female vocals with a deep bass back line and some keyboards. <
br>The title track "Mezzanine" gives us a very dark moody number with the now expected whispery male vocals this time and heavy bassline again. "Group Four" sounds very much the same as "Mezzanine" at first, as though it is just carrying on but then the female vocals break in and it takes on quite an ethereal air musically. This whole album is characteristically bassy and low key with little variation in pace and format though this makes a very relaxing and unchallenging album if somehwat samey throughout.
A lot of people who I know will probably think that I’m wondering way out of character by liking this so much. All my friends know that they don’t even bother suggesting to me that I go out clubbing with them, such is my hatred of dance music. So what am I doing listening and indeed, loving a dance album? Well, one very simple answer… No ******* way are Massive Attack dance! Now, as my regular reader will know (Hi! Thanks for living) I’m in a band and as that same reader will also know I’m mad about Mr Bungle. So naturally, shortly after I entered discussions with the other half of the band, Craig (Yes yes, I know that technically we’re a duo), about starting a band I rapidly introduced him to Mr Bungle. However, he took his time introducing me to the dark electronic noises of his favourite band, Massive Attack. While I can pretty much let the first two albums go flying past (Apart from Unfinished Sympathy of course) I really think Mezzanine is an absolute classic! In terms of comparing music and that whole stylistic bucket thing, Mezzanine could be described as approaching Nine Inch Nails without the metal guitar elements. Oh and lots of guest vocalists! * Angel * One of the themes of this album is huge, moody throbbing bass lines. So a huge throbbing moody bass line would be a good way to start the album off. It’s shortly joined by a complex yet spaced out drum beat. Slowly extra layers move in as the dreamy female vocals move in and the song starts building until it finally fly’s out of the traps as the vocal loops the line “love you” in an almost chant like fashion. A distorted electric guitar is the final icing layer on a very, very fine musical cake. * Risingson * I have no idea what the noise is that starts off this track, if you imagine whale song in the wind you’re pretty much there. A moody bass line joins in and then Massive Attack the
mselves start rapping – yes, I said rapping. But it’s not all “Gitting wicky wit ma sticky hoes” – it’s, well, ‘dark rap’ to use my standard way out of describing something by just making up a term. It’s very effective, they make good use of the two voices in the band and yet the whole thing is offset with a huge chorus of them singing “dream on” and holding the note. The mood this sets is just incredible, I’m struggling for words here. It’s hard to describe the music – the only recurring theme is a harsh looped synth riff – everything else is just a fly by night visit in the general ethereal quality of the song. Again, stunning. * Teardrop * There’s a chance you may know this one – the sounds of an open fire in the background, a simple looped drum beat and a gentle synth line coupled with fragile female vocals. A piano comes in to provide a richer backdrop to the song. Other than the addition of some dreamy synths that’s pretty much all the song does for 5 and a half minutes and yet at no point does the song become boring. I have no idea how they do it. Yet again, stunning! * Inertia Creeps * An increase of pace for this song. Several synth lines weave frantic paths around each other as dark rap once again provides the vocals and moody basslines once more provide the backing as the synths stop and start. Four tracks in and I’m running out of ways to say stunning! * Exchange * The pace goes right back down for this track. A slow dreamy wonder around nowhere in particular on a nice day. Gentle little synth riffs move around in no hurry to be anywhere while large amounts of phased (That’s the woooooooaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhooooooooooo noise folks) parts move around the mix. A stunning track for late night listening, there I found a new way of saying it! * Dissolved Girl * The bass line on this song is making my headphones resonate! Although maybe that’s because they are falling apart and I need some new ones… Anyway, a small looped synth noise forms the main backdrop to the female vocal, one that veers worryingly close to the little girl voices style of singing but doesn’t quite get close enough to annoy me. As the song goes along, more layers are added – all synth based with the exception of a rather crushing guitar riff that comes in later, all adding to the overall mood of the album. Only stunning at times this track, the crushing guitar riff being a particular favourite of mine. * Man Next Door * A complex drum part, full of echoes starts the track off, shortly joined by a simple bass line. Then wooshing synths, very stylised male vocals and a twangy guitar come in. The chorus is quite melancholy, lyrics about leaving an area (Housing estate? That’s the idea the song puts in my head) for the safety of your family. Not quite as stunning as the other stunning tracks, but still stunning it’s own special way! * Black Milk * A slow, almost inaudible, piano melody brings the track to a slow start as half swept synths play away quietly in the background. It’s back to female vocals but for some reason this song doesn’t seem as good as the others. It’s a bit to laid back for it’s own good, it never seems to go anywhere. Easily the weakest track on the album, to this man’s taste at least. * Mezzanine * Quality shoots right back up for this one. Moody throbbing bass that alternates between tonal and atonal notes, repetitive, dreamy yet haunting synths arrive from time to time as Massive Attack alternate between dark rap and breathy singing “All these are flaws” being a popular (And indeed effective) line that is chanted/sung/rapped at various times. Like Risingson, the mood created by this
track is just impossible to describe as various layers stop, start and change around. Once more, stunning. * Group Four * An instrument so sampled I can’t tell what it is, it just sounds broken – that’s not bad though! No, like most things on the album – it’s very effective. The opening minute is very haunting (Using that word a lot eh?) but takes a background role as dark rap joins the fray again as well as a female vocal. Definite late night listening this track. All dreamy eight minutes of it! The song does pick up towards the end though, as an electric guitar comes in (Sounds like INXS for the briefest of moments!) and the song gains a rather unsettling edge to it * (Exchange) * A reprise of the original instrumental, a few extra twists thrown into the music while the singer with the unique voice from Man Next Door crops up again to make you wonder just what he’s done to his throat to make those noises. Taken on it’s own as a track, (Exchange) isn’t incredible compared to Exchange. But as a way to finish the album it’s very good – it’s a bit familiar and just takes the mood down nicely to the end of the album. Well, I hadn’t heard this when I decided on my top ten albums – but if/when I rewrite it - this album has a home in it, quite a high one as well!
I own both mezzanine and protection, and out of the 2, this is the deepest of the albums. It is also my faveourite. I first heard 'teardrop' on mtv, and immediately fell in love with the track, but it wasn't till about 4 years later that I actually bought the album. I like this type of music, and this is now my faveourite album. A few of the tracks that stand out from the rest on the album: Mezzanine-This track is dark, and has an industrial feel to it. The chorus seems to sound a little like a tribesman chanting something around a fire. I don't like this track much, aprt from the guitar parts. I think that the album should have been named after Teardrop, not this track. Teardrop-This track starts off happy and light, and yet deep. This is a welcome change from the dark undertones of the rest of the tracks on the album. The tracks a little repetetive, but it is so well layed out that the track would be good without the vocals. When the vocals start, you feel like it's an angel singing, this is my faveourite track, as it has a beatiful melody, and yet has a sinsister undertone to it. Man next door-This track sounds familiar to me(the guitar bit at the beggining), though I don't know what from. I like the way it's like a person describing how he needs to move on, maybe because of a bad neighbour?would be a good comic track for a dark humourous film about a neighbour from hell maybe! Angel- This track has a good rythm running through it all the way from beginning to end. It is my second faveourite track as it has a dark feel to it while there aren't any vocals, and then when the vocals start(yooouuuuuuuuuuu are my angeeeeeeeeel)you feel uplifted. You site there at the begging waiting for the intro to finsh and the music to begin, as this is truly special. Rising sun-This track has a descriptive air about it, like you're watching a film. The chorous/vocals rising
in unison is key to the track, and are used to their full potential.(dream on...)This track puts an image of a man walking down a dark alleyway. I must say though, my sisiter doesn't like me listening to massive attack as she feels that the music is depressing. I think that in some instances people may find that the music is, but it is your choice and your preferences as to whether you like massive attack. you either love it or hate it.
Massive attack's 3rd studio album is a lot denser and darker than their previous two efforts, and this can only be a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I love "Unfinished Sympathy" and the cool vibes of their ballad "Protection", but something about the creepy mystique of "Mezzanine" makes me want to listen more closely to the slow, synthesized harmonies and sledgehammer beats. It has the flair of an understated party filled with second-hand smoke and empty martini glasses. It's cool and mellow with the expected sensual ballads that Massive Attack produces with the greatest of ease, but there's a blend of new voices, including Elizabeth Fraser from the techno-pop group Cocteau Twins. There are notable selections on this CD that will stick with you the first time you listen to them. First and foremost, the sultry tune titled "Teardrop", Elizabeth Fraser leading the way with her whispery, nymph-like vocals. Then there's the laid-back instrumental "Exchange", a electronic martini for the soul with a cut from an old Isaac Hayes tune. You lay back and literally "chill" when you listen to this tune. The brief reprisal at the end features Robert Del Naja's nasal chords and jagged vibrato, the perfect compliment to the heavy bass and whirling synthesizers. This is a highly recommended album, even for skeptical MA fans. And for those that have listened already, give it another shot. It will grow on you.
This is a very different album by Massive Attack from what they are used to. It is sort of dance but you can listen to it. There is a massive beat which goes right through your stomach, if played loud enough. This is a perfect album for when you are tired and bored eg. when you are doing homework. Make sure that you turn up the volume when it gets to "Tear drop" as the song looses something if not played on full. I find you've got to be in the mood for Mezzanine still, this does not distract from it's brilliance.
This was the first Massive Attack album I bought. It was recommended by a friend so I thought I would give it a pop. I must admit Massive Attack before I bought this album weren't on my top list of artists. How things have changed, this is a massive album. It is a mix of alternative sounds and a mix of instuments. In many of the songs there is a modern beat but out of know where comes elecric guitar, its so refreshing to hear an artist prepared to mix stlyles and genres in one album like this. The songs without being at all cheesy are melodic, moody and rhythmic. If you fancy a change and possibly the best album you could ever open your ears to it buy this album.
Unless you were living under a rock in '98, you'll undoubtedly have heard atleast a little something from Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine' album, one of the most popular of that year. Chances are even if you haven't, you might have heard quite a few tunes unconsciously as they were used on many adverts, and still are. I'm not a huge MA follower, and this indeed is the only album of theirs that I own; just a spur of the moment buy, and not one that I regret much. The album opens with the epic 'Angel' which has featured on a host of ads, it's really sweeping and sleek, and dark and moody. You get washed away and smothered in this track, it's really ace. After, we get treated to the disorientated trip-hop of the classic 'Risingson', which in turn leads on to two more classics; the surreal soothingness of 'Teardrop' and the far eastern darkness of 'Inertia Creeps'. Elsewhere though it seems that the smooth stream of classics stop. 'Exchange' (and 'Exchange') are quite good, but nothing more than fillers, and probably were meant to be, to increase the album's length. 'Disolved Girl' and 'Black Milk' are good, but compared to the gems on the first half of the album, I find that these sound really dry in comparison, atleast 'Man Next Door' tries very hard to compete, and 'Group Four'; while the title track 'Mezzanine' is just 'alright'. It's not a bad album at all, but it's hard to want to listen to all of it. If you buy it, like me you'll just skip past all the average tracks just to hear the gems. Not a great album overall, but half of it is the best. Undoubtedly one of the finest albums of the past few years from Bristol's finest trip-hoppers.
Gone is the hip-hop feel, replaced with a more oppressive feel surrounds this the Bristol trio’s third album. Not surprising seeing as two of the band members weren’t talking to each other. Recorded in a similar style to the Beatles 1968 “White Album” it saw the group working on songs individually. They also took a more natural approach to recording, utilising musicians, rather than samples to create the songs. Starting off with a deep rumbling bass, the drums fades in and ticker along until the guitar comes in. it has a dark, oppressive, heavy feel. It captures a lot of tension. This opener “Angel” is as good an opener you could wish for. It sets the tone perfectly. “Risingson” has a funkier bass line(although it is far from funky) and has a gruff vocal, and features Hoarse Andy again. It has echoes fading in and out, if unconsciousness could be captured as a song this would be it. “Teardrop” is the albums hidden gem. Hidden that is in so many good tracks. Rumour has it that Madonna had wanted to do the vocal, but I think it would have spoiled it. A delicate song and probably the most like previous albums of anything here. It is a beautiful song. The video, by the way is pretty good too. The song conveys a sense of hope and light unlike the rest of the album. The next song “Inertia Creeps” couldn’t be more of a contrast. An eastern horn like sound signals the start before the heavy drum pattern kicks in. Overall, as dark as anything they’ve produced before, but a little more nineties.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
4 Inertia Creeps
6 Dissolved Girl
7 Man Next Door
8 Black Milk
10 Group 4
11 Exchange (2)