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100th Window

100th Window

11 Feb 2003
3.9 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 11 Feb. 2003
  • Release Date: 28 Aug. 2006
  • Label: Virgin UK
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Virgin Records LtdThis label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved.(C) 2003 Virgin Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:13:53
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001IYHWFI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,972 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Of all Massive Attack's releases, this is the one that took the longest for me to really appreciate. On first listening, nearly a year ago now, I was of the opinion, like many other fans and critics, that the absence of Daddy G and Mushroom laid open 'holes' in the music. The songwriting, I thought, was without the soulful, melodic beauty of Blue Lines or Mezzanine. It lacked the introspective, claustrophobic soul of Protection. The beats and production certainly were not imbued with the same dark, powerful and challenging sound that placed Mezzanine among the best records of the 1990s.
So after however many more listens I've given the album, what leads me to give it five stars?
I discovered the subtlety of the emotional (if not political) content of the songs. The melodies themselves are (mostly) more fragile, more subtle than those on Mezzanine, and Del Naja does not tie their flow tightly to the beats. He allows the two to become more separate and flow around and between each other. Silence, possibly the most neglected element in modern popular music, is used to fantastic effect to create the still, reflective mood.
The real brilliance of the music comes in the way this fragility is slowly shattered by quietly menacing riffs and skittering percussion. 100th Window's dark interior has been wrapped up in it's quiet beauty, unlike Mezzanine, where more obvious dark menace was juxtaposed with ethereal beauty. Perhaps the album art is symbolic of the music - the fragile, emotional, human glass shattered by a bullet and all captured in slow motion, freeze-frame.
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Format: Audio CD
The pattern is familiar: great new album every four years or so - always sounding different - great overall esthetic, crystal clear sound, strong graphics - an aura of mystery, of being untouchable. Pink Floyd did the same in the seventies (roughly form 'Atom heart mother' to 'the Wall'), but no-one else in the world today seems capable of providing such 'important-sounding' albums as Massive Attack. Shifting gears (as opposed to settling for cruise control) is a risky game, and for the fourth time Massive plays it for all it's worth: the result may be uneven, but for once the term 'artistic integrity' does not seem out of place.
Still, fans of past Bristol-borne masterpieces such as 'Blue lines' and 'Protection' may be in for some disappointment. Gone - apparently due to artistic differences and ego clashes among the original lineup - is all the 'blackness' that served those albums so well in terms of warmth, soulfulness, even funkyness. This one has very strong moments, but it's also a bit cold in places. it is largely Robert Del Naja -aka 3D- 's work: he used to be the only white guy in the outfit - now he _is_ Massive Attack. (Mushroom split and DaddyG apparently hasn't actively taken part in the making of this album)
Not that this need be bad news: in fact DelNaja has always had much of the creative control, some of the more amazing ideas and a really strong sense for Massive's trademark textures and soundscapes. You can really space out on this one, listen in the dark and enter another dimension - through your headset. Habitué Horace Andy and "newcomer" Sinead O'Connor deliver the vocal goods, 3D himself providing his tried-and-true cavernous murmurs. Powerful yet subtle mid-tempos prevail, with a certain gloomy, ponderous overall feel. A bit like 'mezzanine', minus the guitars, samples and sharp edges, plus a big big bag of unheard-of digital tricks. call it "post-millennium tension".
Call it "heavy chill-out".
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Format: Audio CD
Five years on from the excellent Mezzanine, trip-hop trail-blazers Massive Attack return with 100th Window. Effectively, this is 3D's debut solo album in all but name, with Mushroom having bailed out in '99 (scared they were turning into a Punk band!)and Daddy G taking time out to be a father.
From the very outset it is obvious this is going to be a very different MA album. True, every MA album has been totally different in sound and feel but beneath the surface there has always been fragments of soul, dub, reggae and hip-hop...even on the dark and brooding "rocky" Mezzanine.
This time around we are treated to a much more sterile and clinical atmosphere. Gone is the looseness and organic feel of previous albums...in it's place cold electronics and precise beats. In many ways, this is MA's own Kid A.
That's not to say it's a bad album, it's not when you compare it to what else is around. But by MA's own high standards it is found wanting. If Mezzanine was claustrophobic and gritty, then 100th Window is suffocating and scrubbed clean. Too digitalized and uptight. After a while you really do start wanting to hear one of Daddy G's low-end raps. Even long serviving guest vocalist Horace Andy seems uninspired and bored. The choice of Ms O'Connor as female vocalist this time around wouldn't have been so bad if 3D had applied some quality control to her lyrics!
However, that said, with time and patience it could grow on you...just like Kid A did!!!
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Format: Audio CD
This album is what I'd consider to be Massive Attack's finest, you do need to listen to it a fair bit though to get used to it....then it's just something else! Oh my word!
Don't expect to listen to this one with your friends though, it's very introspective and dark...you'll soon be able to listen to this album over and over, it's more of a feeling than anything.
It's up there with orbital - insides, prodigy - music for the jilted generation, etc.. one of the best!
Go buy it now!
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