5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Once a masterpiece. Now, a decent album.,
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
My interest in Massive Attack started with the song "Teardrop", as it was the case with many people, I suppose. As a natural reaction I started out by listening to their most well-known record, Mezzanine, which included aforementioned song.
I think almost anybody will agree with me when I state that Mezzanine was (and still is) an undisputed masterpiece and simply Massive Attack's best.
But Blue Lines is often preferred by critics. As of 1998 and onwards it just stood in the shadow of the bleak, interesting and commercially succesful Mezzanine.
It is a shame really. Blue Lines is a very decent album, including probably Massive Attack's greatest single "Unfinished Sympathy". However, whereas Mezzanine still sounds fresh to this day, with its gloomy atmosphere, Blue Lines has seen better days music-wise. The ideas are generally very good and work very well when classic instruments, such as acoustic instruments along with drums and bass, form the center of the music ("Safe From Harm", "Five Man Army", "Unfinished Sympathy"). But on songs like "Be Thankful for what You've Got" the synthpads sound very dated and just straightdown corny.
Thankfully, Blue Lines works for the most part (and I'll just highlight the title song and album-closer, too) and as such it's still worth your money, but you should really listen to Massive Attack's albums in chronological order to follow and appreciate the incredible transformation that their music has undergone.
Listen to Blue Lines as a single album without any comparisons to other MA-material, and you'll be most satisfied!