I’ve been a fan of Massive Attack’s since I first heard their song Teardrop. An evil creeping song, it became my anthem for some time - a perfect backdrop for my teenage angst.
In 2003 Massive Attack released their LP 100th Window. I got a copy and began listening - hoping and waiting to see what the follow-up to Teardrop would sound like. Ultimately I was let down. The track that came closest to reproducing the feeling I got from Teardrop was Prayer For England, and even then I was left wanting.
This was seven years ago. Massive Attack have just released their latest LP, Heligoland. I have had the pleasure of listening to this album a few times and I can safely say that this is a true return to form.
The album opens with Pray for Rain, a tumbling song with vocals from TV on the Radio’s lead singer Tunde Adebimpe. The song invites you in and establishes what’s to come.
The next two tracks, Babel and Splitting the Atom are good in their own right however compared to the rest of the album they sound weak. They don’t lose your attention but they don’t offer anything of note. It isn’t until Girl I Love You that your heart starts to pump in time with the album. Girl I Love You has dark undertones reminiscent of Teardrop but it avoids sounding dated by increasing its tempo.
For me the stand-out track is Paradise Circus. Beginning with lofty keys played over a brisk beat the vocals enter and seem to float. When the bass line starts to thump after the 1-minute mark the song gets downright groovy.
The album winds down without fault, leaving you wanting another listen. And another listen is exactly what you’ll do.
[audio:Massive Attack - 04 - Girl I Love You.mp3|titles=Girl I Love You]
[audio:Massive Attack - 07 - Paradise Circus.mp3|titles=Paradise Circus]
Also be sure to check out the bizarre and NSFW video for Paradise Circus.