Massive Attack - Mezzanine

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1998-04-20

By the release of 1998's Mezzanine, critics were suddenly of the understanding that Massive Attack were one of the most important bands in the world. Bristol's original trip-hop pioneers had, on previous albums Blue Lines and Protection, fused turntable wizardry to the warmest of soul. With Mezzanine, however, the party had ended; revisiting the murky soundscapes so favoured by former partner and fellow Bristolian Tricky, the comeback single "Rising Son" muttering edgily about "cheap beer filled with crocodile tears", over the deepest bass. Tensions were heightened by the news that the making of Mezzanine was riven by inter-band rifts. The friction, though, seems to have create some gems; "Inertia Creeps" is drenched in menace, and "Teardrop" features the ethereal vocals of Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins--both of these a benchmark not just for the band, but for the trip-hop genre. Bleak, but powerfully beautiful. --Louis Pattison

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