After a four and a half year absence following the epoch-making Mezzanine , Massive Attack have finally returned with a new album, one founder member down on the deal (Grant Marshall having gone his own way) leaving Horace Andy and Robert Del Naja to continue as a duo, with guest vocalist Sinéad O'Connor adding spooky vocals... (I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that the spooky song she sings on Asian Dub Foundations' Enemy of The Enemy is called '1000 Mirrors'??)
... the good news is that they haven't tried to recreate that sound. This is more of an eerie soundtrack to a sombre dream about the state of the world in 2003 than the hypnotic pump of the previous record, and though it's not going to suddenly shock someone familiar with their previous work, it certainly expands their sound in an eastern direction, most of the songs seemingly woven from Arabic and Asian melodies. Perhaps I can spot Nitin Sawhney in the melting point somewhere... imagine John Carpenter doing a mesmeric soundtrack to The Omen...
It probably has a similar relation to it's predecessor as 'In Utero' did to 'Nevermind'... The former was Essential the latter merely Excellent
8Chris Nettleton's Score