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Massive Attack - Collected

Massive Attack, Collected

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

MASSIVE Attack remain one of the UK’s pioneering trip-hop acts since releasing the genre-defining Blue Lines album back in 1991.

Since then, they have produced three more albums that are rich in quality, featuring their distinctive blend of moody, atmospheric beats and deep, dark soul.

Protection was another classic, as was Mezzanine, while 100th Window may have drawn some detractors but still spawned some classic cuts such as Butterfly Caught.

The Bristol-based outfit are currently in the studio and have completed seven tracks for their fifth album, Weather Underground with long-time cohort and co-producer Neil Davidge. It is due for release in early 2007.

In the meantime, they have put out Collected, an apt reminder of their musical legacy to date that features tracks chosen by the band themselves. Needless to say, it drips with quality.

The highlights pick themselves – from the melancholy but hypnotic beats of their all-time classic Unfinished Symphony to the achingly beautiful Teardrop, featuring the mesmerising ethereal vocals of Liz Fraser (from the Cocteau Twins).

In between, there’s the atmospheric menace of Angel (recently employed over the opening titles of new Harrison Ford movie Firewall), to the no-less intoxicating Protection featuring the shimmering vocals of Everything but the Girl’s Tracy Thorn.

New single, Live With Me, featuring the hypnotic, haunting vocals of one Terry Callier, draws the album to a close in splendid fashion to show that Massive Attack have lost none of their ability to conjure dark but memorable records.

Needless to say, Collected provides an essential collection of the very best work of one of the UK’s seminal bands of recent years.

A special edition of Collected contains a bonus CD comprising of a new compilation of rare and reworked material, as well as new recordings and a flipside DVD of all the videos to date.

Highlights of that compilation include I Want You, a sexy nostalgia piece from 1997 featuring Madonna getting down with Massive Attack in a pre-Angelo D’Angelo style for the Marvin tribute album; I Against I featuring Mos Def; Bullet Boy, the closing track from Saul Dibb’s acclaimed movie, and Joy Luck Club, a romantic homage to Icelandic nights out that was recorded last year with Debbie Clare of the band Oom.

Buy the limited edition

Track listing:

  1. Safe From Harm
  2. Karmacoma
  3. Angel
  4. Teadrop
  5. Inertia Creeps
  6. Protection
  7. Butterfly Caught
  8. Unfinished Sympathy
  9. Risingson
  10. Future Proof
  11. Five Man Army
  12. What Your Soul Sings
  13. Sly
  14. Live With Me