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Albums Reviews

Massive Attack

Heligoland
Virgin/EMI
[Three and a half stars]

Rolling Stone IN Mar 10, 2010

It’s been a massive wait for fans for another intense yet sedate hit from the dark side of Bristol. Heligoland, the seventh studio album by trip-hop duo Massive Attack has enough brooding atmospherics to inspire a score for the undead. The bleak soundscape takes a break to let in a glimmer of optimism only on a few tracks like ”˜Psyche’ and ”˜Saturday Come Slow.’ The guest musicians on Heligoland are an eminent bunch ”“ Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval and Guy Garvey (Elbow) ”“ and perfect for Massive Attack’s despairing motifs. ”˜Paradise Circus’ has a wicked lure (goth-inspired synths offset with an uppity beat) as Sandoval’s feather-light vocals lazily roll over it (“Love is like a sin my love/For the one that feels it the most”). There is a subtle recall of Radiohead’s Amnesiac on ”˜Flat of the Blade’ where Garvey’s dulcet voice haunts a creaky, crumpled loop swimming in radio static. But the collaboration that scores is the one with Albarn on ”˜Saturday Come Slow.’ The acoustic guitar spell and Albarn’s melancholy finds effortless resonance in the Massive Attack DNA. The deliciously spooky ”˜Girl I Love You’ with the soundsystem’s loyal guest vocalist Horace Andy, routes a nimble groove, thrumming to a slim bassline. Heligoland assures all is well in Massive Attack sick, sad, little world.

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Key Tracks: ”˜Paradise Circus,’ ”˜Girl I Love You’

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