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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the most exhuberant come-back, but...
Massive Attack.

Just the name itself suggests waves of dubby synths, deep basslines, martial yet half-asleep beats and croony vocals. Sure, they helped define a genre for the 90s, that lame "trip hop" tag so many claimed to be part of and so few deserved, producing much groundbreaking music, especially in the shape of their debut "Blue Lines" (1991), which...
Published on 7 Feb 2010 by DIOONER

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Heligoland
Not quite up to what I expected. Then again Mezzanine was their Dark Side of the Moon, and that was my last purchase by the lads. Horace Andy song is the best by far. Approach with caution. Maybe I just need to listen to it more...
Published on 19 Aug 2010 by Angus Self


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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Massive Attack's best, but still good., 25 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
I absolutely adore Mezzanine, and can happily listen to it all day on repeat.
One day I felt I needed to explore what else Massive Attack have done, and came across Heligoland. After a small preview of each song, I thought to myself, "Why the hell not?" and bought it.

Now, I'm not saying it's not worth buying, but I felt fairly underwhelmed when listening to a few songs. I'll start with the best - in my opinion - and work my way down:
Paradise Circus, Atlas Air, Girl I Love You and Splitting The Atom make for a nice treat to listen to. They're each memorable, eerie, dark and melodic. Just what I like from Massive Attack. I particularly enjoy Hope Sandoval's voice in Paradise Circus. It feels so dreamy alongside the music.

Now onto the not so good (but not terrible) songs:
Flat Of The Blade, Pray For Rain and Psyche are not necessarily 'bad'. But I feel they don't quite measure up. They feel a little mishmash, and you're left wondering what each of these songs were trying to aim for.

For the 3 I've left out - Saturday Come Slow, Rush Minute and Babel - they're nice to listen to, but not quite memorable enough. More suitable to quietly listening to in the background.

So overall, not a complete disappointment, as there are some songs that I'll still listen to over and over again, but there are some I'll skip over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Massive Attack fifth album, 31 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
A step away from previous albums with the odd nod back to them. The songs are lo fi in comparison. the darker mood is continued from later albums with a much stripped back approach. Strangely in the same ball park as Tricky's Nearly God album. very minimalistic and stark. It is still a good album with a bit not there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great album by Massive Attack, 24 July 2011
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Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
Following their disappointing previous release "100th Window", I was not really sure what to expect from "Heligoland". Fortunately, it is much better than I expected. Good news since the gap between albums seems to grow longer by at least a year each time they release one, now up to 7 years.

There is a mixture of sounds on this 10 track collection from their trademark trip-hop to electronica. There are also quite a few guest vocalists such as Tunde Adebimpe, Damon Albarn, Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird and Hope Sandoval, adding diversity to the mix. All of the songs are good with some stand out ones too. "Pray to Rain" is a great opener to the album and provides a dark and thoughtful introduction to "Heligoland". "Psyche" has punk elements to it, not far from what PJ Harvey might have penned, with poignant vocals from Miss Topley-Bird. "Flat Of The Blade" can be compared to Bjork, with powerful synthesisers, a thick rolling bass and intimate vocals from Guy Garvey. But the best track is "Paradise Circus" with sweet and sour vocals from Hope Sandoval and a great string section towards its end. The only slight disappointment is "Saturday Come Slow" with dreary vocals from Damon Albarn.

It is a great return to form from a group who had lost their focus momentarily. A must buy album for Massive Attack fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Massive, 23 Nov 2010
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amjad (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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If you like massive attack then this wont dissapoint. Esp. liked Atlas Air - check out the video on youtube.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form, 8 Nov 2010
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S. C. JONES "Jonesy" (Leicestershire, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
After the uninspiring and monochrome '100th Window', in effect a 3D solo record with guest vocals from the unappealing Sinead O'Connor, I was wondering if Massive Attack had lost their muse. After listening to their fifth LP many times, and it's an album that repays repeated listens, I can categorically say the answer is No.

As others have noted, it's a consistent record. On the one hand, there's only one standout song ('Paradise Circus'), but only one track ('Psyche') truly disappoints. The guests integrate into the Massive Attack project adeptly, and 3D's far more inspired than he was on '100th Window', but perhaps most importantly Daddy G and Horace Andy sound revitalised. Unlike the last record, this one's a team effort. In addition, there are some dissonant beats (it's not all smooth like 'Protection'), and the production is gorgeous - it's a sumptuous sounding record. It doesn't match 'Blue Lines' or 'Mezzanine' - perhaps they never will - but it's a fine record and another reason to love this incredible group.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Heligoland, 19 Aug 2010
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Angus Self "Jah Skull" (Edinburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
Not quite up to what I expected. Then again Mezzanine was their Dark Side of the Moon, and that was my last purchase by the lads. Horace Andy song is the best by far. Approach with caution. Maybe I just need to listen to it more...
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4.0 out of 5 stars HERR, 21 April 2010
This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
When first hearing this album, i was left wandering if the boys Massive still had the clout that gave us the greatness of 'Unfinished Sympathy', and my first reaction was a dissapointing no. Loved everything between 100th window; that being the 'Collected' album, the 'Bullet Boy' soundtrack-sadly never released, only on MP3. The brilliant instrumental stylings of 'Danny The Dog'. So, going back to Heligoland-Although i did prefer the original speculated title 'Weather Underground'- it just didn't have that power to draw you in like their previous albums had. I know Robert Del Naja and crew are much older, but it just did not feel like them. The vibe was lost somehow. then after a few hearings i came to realise how strong the tracks were becoming. ' Pray For Rain' with its dulcet piano tones to ambient beat finale, i began to realise their genius. They are changing at a rapid rate throught he entire presentation of the album. like most of us who follwed their trajected path throughout the 90's. Standout tracks include the aforementioned 'Pray For Rain', 'Splitting The Atom'(co-written with the ever busy Damon Albarn) who contributes to other tracks on the album. 'Girl I Love you' with regular alumni Horace Andy, and the stunning 'Psyche' with Martina topley-Bird on vocal, although i heard this track takes alternate shapes on different pressings of the album. If you are new to the Massive experience it would be a good place to start, but i would urge you to back track to the genius of their wonder years. Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge are pioneers in sound design and hopefully will not give us another 7 year gap between albums.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slow burner in a land of its own, 17 April 2010
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This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
To offer a comparision with Radiohead's recent 'In Rainbows' for its renaissance factor would not be far off the mark, and having grown up with Massive Attack and listened to all their albums, this one pleasantly surprised me.. and in the best possible way a classic album can..it rapidly grows on you and earworms its way into your day with lots of worming space to spare. Robert Del Naja has swallowed the Nick Drake melancholy tune book and given it an experimental electronic flare that is sometimes equalled but never surpassed in UK music IMHO, and this album still has an overall cutting edge, which is remarkable for a band that has been around since 1988. Therefore luke warm reviews coming from across the pond (e.g. Pitchfork 5/10) are even more puzzling to me - the juicy discordant middle-eight break in 'Girl I Love You' and very addictive base line of 'Psyche' are worth the entrance fee alone :)) A slow burner for sure and, if like me, you were slightly under-awed by '100th Window', Heligoland should not disappoint!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality reigns, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
A slow burner that from the 2nd listen onwards gets better with each play. Multi-layered & multi-textural, never dull or predictable, full of underlying energy & passion - IMHO this a beautifully crafted album, on all levels.

Has that distinctive quality that is pure Massive Attack, yet still manages to sound fresh & inventive. Heligoland was obviously meticulously conceived & executed, but does not fall into the category of 'dull & self-indulgent'.

Also exquisitely produced & mixed, it'll make your hifi sound special. (And respect to Massive Attack for not using very high levels of compression - checked with Audacity.)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form with a little help from the BBC, 29 July 2011
This review is from: Heligoland (Audio CD)
From 100th Window I can remember "Everywhen" and that was the sole standout track for me. Heligoland is an album which I listen to all the way through without skipping too often even though the final track is nearly 10minutes.

Had I been a major hardcore fan I would've known that Paradise Circus was abridged for the theme music to the BBC cop series "Luther", so I had already heard it at least 10 times without knowing it was them - welcome surprise when I bought the album, but Pray For Rain is an addictive introduction track with a bridge that's almost at the end of the song, so nice and different. Mezzanine being 13 years ago I'm not bothered about holding them up to the standard of an album I don't listen to anymore, their latest album is the best I've heard in a long time and is as much of a grower as their other albums.
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