September 26, 2013 § 5 Comments

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  • Think this one’s underrated? Having grown up with Blue Lines, Protection and Mezzanine I was really looking to the lp’s release, but after a couple of disappointed listens it got shelved. Not aged as badly as I would’ve thought, but still sounds a bit slight and sullen to me now…

    • dboon147 says:

      Wasn’t that taken w/ it at first, but it’s definitely grown on me. I had a weirdly inverted relationship w/ it – ‘Special Cases’ was the first Massive Attack song I ever heard, back in 03, but then forgot about it until hearing the first two albums over the last year. Then I came upon this in a charity shop in Woolwich. The harshness of it is really intriguing, particularly the quality of the bass, & the weirdly neurasthenic quality of 3D’s vocals. (Though he’s still not even close in interest to early Tricky – the other thing I’ve been listening to recently.) Don’t think all of it’s good – ‘Prayer For England’ I can do without, & you do kind of want some levity occasionally. But I think it stands up pretty well on its own.

      • Special Cases was the first you heard? Interesting! Teardrop was quite ubiquitous when Mezzanine came out, and Unfinished Sympathy used to be on music TV all the time. That’s how I was introduced to them I think (altho I always felt Unfinished Sympathy was kinda overrated). I think 100th Window is prob closest to Protection, which’s actually my favourite MA lp (not listened to it in yrs, mind). Always thought of it as a much softer version of Tricky’s (pretty forbidding) PMT.

  • dboon147 says:

    Strangely I don’t remember ever knowingly hearing ‘Teardrop’ until we got cable & hence MTV years later (2003 maybe?). It wasn’t the kind of thing played on the stations my parents listened to – Bournemouth’s not that sophisticated – & I wasn’t really interested in music when ‘Mezzanine’ came out.

    I’m still not really sure about ‘Protection’ – it feels kind of uneven (like ‘100th Window’ in that respect). Although I love its languidity & heat-haze atmosphere – the bass is so soft & lovingly integrated. Whereas ‘Blue Lines’ just seems so perfectly formed & coherent to me, more than the sum of its parts.

    • Protection is def. uneven (listened to it again last night); tracks like Three and Eurochild are quite alien-sounding, and I guess Better Things is prob about as good as the ‘trip hop’ archetype gets. Mezzanine’s more consistent but I always felt it’s just a bit too consciously brooding. Angel and Group Four still sound pretty great tho.

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