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Jaded and emotionally sparse but still Massive Attack,
This review is from: 100th Window (Audio CD)
This album is the aural equivalent of those French films in which complete strangers met on a weekly basis for dispassionate sex in an empty apartment. It is well made and artful but emotionally engaging, probably deliberately so. It is attractive and repellent in equal measure. It is also a sadly limited form of expression. Massive Attack, or should that just be 3D, do manage to attain the moments of sublime beauty that characterised there earlier work but all the warmth has long since been bled dry. This is not even a dark album like Mezzanine, just cold and impersonal, even Horace Andy’s vocals seemed leached of their customary soul.
There is some very interesting soundscapes being served up here and Massive Attack are as inventive as ever, just not as expressive. The album is the sound of a man who keeps his cards very close to his chest. Sinead O’Connor’s vocals have a little more of a human sound but could also be considered one of the weaker things about the album. It can be quite hard to take seriously hearing her Irish Catholic girl voice bleating on about ‘Jah.’
This is not a bad album, indeed it’s a very good one, just with all the caveats mentioned above. Small Time Shot Away is my personal favourite track as it captures the mood of edgy paranoia and numbed world weariness perfectly. This is certainly Massive Attacks most limited album and it seems very hard to believe that 3D can take his one man show much further.
This is definitely an album for a certain mood rather then one to cater for all ocasions.