Saturday, February 20, 2010

Massive Attack - Mezzanine


I have a few quirks.  For the most part, you'd have to know me well before I'd reveal them.  But I'm prepared to let you in on one of them now.

And no, it's not some perverted secret love of teen boy bands.

When it comes to music, one of the worst things someone can say to me is "oh, I just know you'll love this band/album/singer".  It just sets my teeth on edge and I go out of my way to either completely ignore said artist or look for inadequacies, no matter how small, so I can put shit on it.  It's like I want to discover it for myself, without anyone else telling me.  I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but aren't most quirks? (Mine says: hence the difficulty in ever daring to buy you music as a present - but I've done it before, and dammit I'll do it again)

Such was the case with Massive Attack. It was years ago when I was a guitarist in a moderately successful indie guitar band and an ex-girlfriend, trying to expand my musical palate a little, used those words about MA's Blue Lines.  She played it all the time, particularly when I was around.  The more she tried to convince me, the more I hated it.  Then we broke up.

It meant I could finally listen to this band without the feeling of someone saying "see, I told you you'd like them".  Massive Attack are without a doubt the best exponents of trip-hop in the world.  The song arrangements and constructs are multi-layered, rich and deep without becoming bogged down in widdly bits.  Mezzanine merely continued to show the rest of the world how it's done proper, like.  Blue Lines will always be my favourite but this album is right up there with it.



While Blue Lines is one of the albums I'd replace instantly should the collection ever vapourise (how? slip into a hole in the space-time continuum?) (YourZ sez: it might slip through a liminal space flaw into some parallel universe and into the hands of a nascent musician who uses it to take over his/her world - yeah, I know, I should stay away from the red lollies, right?)  I also love Mezzanine.  I appreciate trip-hop's not everyone's cup of tea, but I had this album on pre-order before it came out.  I picked it up the day it was released, as I did with its predecessor, Protection.  I love these guys.

That doesn't make for a great review - and I can't even lighten this entry with stories of when I saw them live, as I haven't.  I can say it's another great Sunday-morning-coming-down album (don't the Brits do those well?  Wonder why? tee hee) and it would also make great dinner-party music.

Oh, plus the video for Teardrop is just inspired.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP (close your eyes and drift away)

For more information:

In our collection, we also have: Blue Lines, Protection and 100th Window

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