Special Cases appears to be business as usual for Massive Atttack, despite changes in the line-up- on this evidence new album 100th Window is going to be what Protection was to Blue Lines in relation to Mezzanine, i.e. quite similar, not as good.
The song sounds very much like tracks from the previous album such as Risingson, Distorted Girl & Mezzanine; it merely looks like they traded Liz Fraser for Sinead O'Connor (who has a good track record guesting with other people, such as Bomb the Bass). O'Conner's folkish vocals, more In Tua Nuara & Beth Gibbons than Clannad, sit well next to the sinister music- as did Fraser's angelic tones on the paranoid-mechanics of the last album did.
The guitars prevalent on the last album have been traded for more downbeat ambient sounds- the latter part of the song reminds me of the 'Metal Mix' of Depeche Mode's Something to Do- which was also an influence on Missy Elliot's Get Ur Freak On. I'm also reminded of the classic Tricky album Maxinquaye- tracks such as Ponderosa & Aftermath aren't that far away from this: so trip hop as usual. Not only does it sound very 1995, it also sounds very 1981- a listen to Cabaret Voltaire's Yahsar (found on recent Grey Area compilation The Original Sound of Sheffield)confirms the fact the strange 'world music'-style sounds have been done a long time before this (see also the Czuckay-Wobble album or Eno/Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts).
The bonus tracks/remixes are so so- personally I'd plump for the DVD single release of this track. This has a stunning video of the De Bourg Institute- a montage of imagery relating to test tube research & modern life that is related. It makes the song much more interesting and stands up as an excellent short SF-film that reminded me of things like Gattaca & Crash. This would sit well with the DVD-collection Massive released a year or so ago.