Review: Massive Attack’s Heligoland

I didn't know old versions of Rio Ferdinand and Luis Nani were Massive Attack.

Here’s my review: Massive Attack‘s Heligoland is bloody brilliant.

Being the duo’s first release since 100th Window in 2003, the expectancy weighing on Heligoland’s shoulders is massive. But the fathers of trip-hop have created a master piece to rival the days of Tear Drop and Unfinished Sympathy.

Slowly drawing the nation back in over recent months with a taster EP called Splitting the Atom, the duo continued in that rich vein of form, with the help of some very well chosen guest vocals.

That’s a decision that many artists have opted for recently. But they’ve done it so much better than Simian Mobile Disco for example. And SMD’s album’s pretty damn good too. (By the way, I’m not comparing the two artists, just the fact that they’ve used a lot of guest vocals.)

Who have been in the limelight in the past year or so? Blur. TV on the Radio. Elbow. They’re all representing.

Stand out songs include opening track Pray for Rain (which includes the amazing voice of TV on the radio’s Tunde Adebimpe), and Paradise Circus (which has a killer bass line). Other guests on the record include Blur’s Damon Albarn and Elbow’s Guy Garvey.

Massive Attack, as always, betray the meaning of their name and keep the album subtle and simmering, rarely reaching the boil and really bursting into life.

It is at those moments where you see the true brilliance of the album, because you realise you’ve been hooked since the first second whilst they have barely broken into a sweat.

This record will work ideally for the bedroom or headphones, so it will be very interesting to see how they sound live. However, being the experienced musicians that they are, they will have a trick or two up their sleeves.

Let’s see how they manage to incorporate all the guest vocals, because SMD sucked at that in the live arena.

Massive Attack- Saturday Come Slow (Feat. Damon Albarn)


9 Responses to “Review: Massive Attack’s Heligoland”

  1. even though i found their music somber I love it as it is the perfect music to “be in the zone”. I have to sit in the computer for long periods coding and programming and i find massive attack takes me to this crazy trance state thats soothing enough to keep my mind stimulated but not too distracting from the work that I am doing. Great song. Great review!

  2. Chapperdeemus Says:

    I am exactly the same, I love listening to them whilst working, they make me so productive. There arent many artists I can listen to and still concentrate, and they are one of them.

  3. miltonious Says:

    Here’s the first single. Check it out and download it here!

  4. […] as excited as I am, and would like to read an album review, I would highly recommend reading Hotcakes wonderfully written review of the album here. As far as I am aware, Heligoland due for release on […]

  5. miltonious Says:

    We found the album free! Get the Album from our blog!

  6. BetterThanFine Says:

    I am lucky enough to have seen them in November in Paris. They are still a force of nature live, no question. The new songs, however, didn’t pack the punch that “Angel” does live, but that could also be due to the lack of familiarity with the new stuff and also the surprisingly lackluster presentation of Marina Topley-Bird. In any case, my friends and I are all poised and ready to purchase the album after having seen the show, so I guess that says something…

  7. Thanks for the Saturday Come Slow link, I’ve been looking for it franticlly!

  8. […] cheeky bit of ‘Heligoland’ by Massive Attack has caught my early fancy for album of the year. Ain’t that a […]

  9. […] – North 28 Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me 29 Massive Attack – Heligoland [review] 30 The Roots – How I Got Over 31 Magnetic Man – Magnetic Man 32 The Chemical Brothers […]

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