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4.6 out of 5 stars127
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 January 2001
Massive Attack have famously evolved their style throughout their career, from the lush soul/hip-hop notes of Blue Lines to the dubbed-out smoked-out lope of Protection (getting further dubbier on the Mad Professor remix album). This time however, they have really turned things about.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive when I'd heard that they'd gone all "rock" but my first listen to the album in its entirety after hearing the chilling tones of the first single "Rising Son" took all of my (mis)preconceptions, chewed them up and spat them a very long way away. The darker, deeper vibes, briefly visited on Protection's Eurochild are prevelant throughout, with 3D and Daddy G working somber menacing tones, presumably exorcising demons of some kind (the majority of the lyrics being typically cryptic).
Horace Andy, always welcome, is on his usual fine form, his spine-tingling falsetto providing a sublime, haunting edge to "Angel" and "Man Next Door", with new girl Sara Jay showing her rather fine vocal skills on the out and out rocker "Dissolved Girl". Grant (Daddy G) makes a more noticeable appearance than previously, his deep, gruff voice suiting the new vibe perfectly, and it is only after a couple of listens that you notice the absence of Tricky (presumably a result of him having gone "a bit wierd"), though this is no bad thing here.
It is the appearance of Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins) that truly wins this album though, particularly on the astonishingly beautiful "Teardrop", a true tear inducing masterpiece (despite the lyrics being more or less incoherent!), with its lush strings and heart-beat imitating drum loops. Fraser continues to astound on "Black Milk" and again on her duet with Del Naja, on the apocalyptic penultimate track "Group 4", which is one to be listened to alone, whilst lying down, in the dark, with your stereo volume as loud as it will go.
The whole album, is must be said is rather an introspective one, to be most appreciated whilst alone, and will not appeal to everyone. Even confirmed Massive Attack fans may find its industrial leanings all a little heavy going, although it is all ultimately strangely uplifting, despite the dark, paranoid undertones throughout. One thing this is not, is a party album, but if you do dare to take it on, you will find yourself very well rewarded.
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on 25 December 2013
The vinyl on this is dead quiet, it did have a lot of factory dust from the paper inner sleeves but a quick clean on the VPI fixed that. I'd recommend putting them back in polylined inner sleeves. The jacket is a bit flimsy and should have been higher quality. I have an original and it was a much nicer gatefold.

Mastering-wise, this sounds really close to the original I own but without the pops on my original which grades VG at best. I'm not sure if this is from the CD master or the original tapes. Being a 90s release it might have been all digital from hard drives or DAT so it may not matter anyway. Even if it is analog tape, all the samples that make up most of the music are 16 bit 44.1khz digital anyway. So in short, buy this because you like vinyl and don't expect the sound to be better than the CD, which I think already sounds fantastic.

My biggest complaint is the mailer. I don't know why so many things I order from the UK and Europe have the thinnest cardboard but because of it one of the corners got bent. I've read on forums that this is a common problem with this release. They need to use real LP mailers like the ones made by Bags Unlimited.
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on 2 January 2003
If ever there was an album to which superlatives apply then this is it. Less soulful and playful then earlier outings this is nonetheless Massive Attack's finest album. From the low throb of opener angel to the last clatter of exchange this is an album to love. Dark, bruising and fractured certainly yet still swelling with a subsumed emotion that is worth a million Will Youngs.
This is an album that can aptly be described as 'difficult' without actually being difficult to listen to. Massive Attack's strange and threatening audio world is so artfully arranged that it never strikes as discordant or awkward. If a first listen beguiles, and I assure you that it will, then repeated attempts will reveal new wonders and finally will render the darkness warm and cozy and the only sane response to life.
Played at a low volume the sounds that ooze from the speakers sit sulkily lurking at the corners of the room, ripe with menace. Played loud the heavy metal thunder of Angel or Dissolved Girl will work its corrosive magic in a way that the nu-metal fraternity can only dream of. The vocalist most associated with this album is Elizabeth Frazer and its easy to see why. The distinctive style of her vocals perfectly offsets the sullen and richly textured sounds in which they are set, like diamonds in black velvet. However personally I find Sarah Jay's only track, Dissolved Girl far more effecting. Her low voice is both sexy and, like Beth Gibbons of Portishead, conveys volumes of stark emotion just veering off desperation. Horace Andy's caramelised voice adds sweetness to every track that he sings on.
Despite the various different styles and plethora of vocalists, five in total, this album still manages more coherence then more straightforwardly structured bands seem capable. There isn't a duff track here and while no two tracks are the same they all share a certain indefinable quality that's unique to Massive Attack.
All in all a massive achievement and if, as seems likely, its their last album then a worthy swansong for one of the finest bands of the nineties. Oh yeah and its quite dark too.
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on 26 April 2002
Get hold of this album. Wait until about 11 in the evening. Sit in your favourite armchair in a room lit sparsely. A couple of candles, perhaps. Turn up your hi fi so the sound fills the room, but doesn't deafen. Press play. Evaporate.
This album can be seen as a logical progression from Blue Lines and Protection as the textures get more complex and the sounds more original. It's certainly my favourite of the three. With some beautiful vocals on tracks like Teardrop, and some amazing energy on tracks such as as Angel this album offers a spectrum of atmospheres to experience. Some great laid back rapping and beats to make you kneel on the floor and thank god you've got a pulse. The addition of crunching guitar in the backgorund alongside organic synths works brilliantly.
This is music you can have as background whilst doing other things, but that's missing the point. Mezzanine is music to breathe to.
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on 23 March 2004
I had heard of Massive Attack before I bought this album, but had never actually heard their music; and was it worth it? Definitely! The opening track 'Angel' is great and really sets the mood for the rest of the album. Some other favourites of mine include 'Teardrop' which is so relaxing and stunning at the same time; and 'Dissolved Girl' which is also sung by the female singer. I really recommend this album to anybody who likes Royksopp, Moby and other electronic/chill artists. In fact, I think you should desperately consider adding this to your music collection as it simply is beautiful in every single way!
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on 23 June 2001
Thie album really is a bit of a style change for Massive Attack, but I think it has been for the better. Angel, Risingson, Dissolved Girl, Inertia Creeps and Mezzanine are all the more brooding and rock related tracks which are the heaviest ones.
Whereas Man Next Door and Group Four are more of the strangely addictive and odd tracks.
Black Milk, Tear Drop, and both Exchanges are the etherial tracks which become immersful once listening to them and complete the album to make it a fantastic listen. Definitely a change for the MA crew but for all the better whether for difference or permenance.
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on 9 April 2001
After the excellent Protection and the very good Blue Lines it seems as though Massive Attack have saved the best until last. Mezzanine captured the mood of the times yet listening to it now it still continues to do this over two years later. From the sinister opening of "Angel" to the penultimate hypnotic effect of "Group Four" Mezzanine delivers on all levels with every track. Ever since buying it i have never once tired of it and this cd remains always close to hand for those days when only its cryptic sounds can help you to see clearly. This is a true masterpiece which should be in everyones collection, everyone that is who relates in anyway emotionally to brilliant music. Perhaps its fitting that this should be Massive Attacks final offering because its hard to see how it could get better. Unfortunately its brilliance just leaves us wanting more.
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on 20 February 2005
An excellent album, full of tricky melodys and little beats that make you wonder... Slightly darker album, but this adds to what makes the album excellent. What can i say? Massive Attack, one of the greatest bands of my generation!
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on 15 December 2003
Back when I lived in France, I saw this band I had never heard of before be the main guests of the best french programme ever, Nulle Part Ailleurs, and they performed a couple of songs. Well, for the first time in my life, and the only time so far, I rushed to the shop the following day to buy the record. That's how good they were. To this day, it still ranks as one of my all time favorites. From Dissolved Girl to Tear drop, the Cocteau twins lady will tear your soul from your heart and nurture it gently with her soft voice. From Inertia Creeps to Rising Son, you will feel anger but also warmth. If you are not moved by this music, you cannot be not human, you must be a pile of rock or something.
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on 1 June 2000
Ok well i bought this album a couple of years ago, listened to it for ages and thought it was really cool but to my suprise unlike many other albums i kept coming back to it again and again, the sound is so unique and definately a progression (and for the better) from blue lines and protection (although these are both excellent also); belive me and all the other reviewers here, you WILL NOT regret buying this album. Play it softly and it's realaxing, chill-out music, pump up the volume and it's as dark as Portishead can be ("brooding" springs to mind), but whatever conditions it will move you at all times like no other piece of music.
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