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Massive Attack – Heligoland

Finally, after years of waiting, filled with rumors and confusion, Massive Attack’s first real record since 2003’s 100th Window has been released, and it is worth the wait.

One thing that can be said about Bristol’s Massive Attack is that they never repeat themselves, and Heligoland is no exception. The ingredients are familiar: driving rhythms, brooding melodies, massive bass sounds and a healthy mix of digital/analog sounds, but Heligoland has a sound all its own that sets it apart from anything the group has done in the past. At times Heligoland reminds me more of Kid A-era Radiohead than any previous Massive Attack releases, but that could just be because the atonal horns at the end of “Girl I Love You” remind me of the the end of Radiohead’s “National Anthem.”

That Heligoland feels as organic as it does after having been in production for so long comes as a bit of a surprise, as many projects that take this long to complete end up feeling uninspired and hastily thrown together. Somehow, though, Massive Attack has managed to put together a concise and fluid album on par with any of their earlier records. Continue reading

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