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100th Window
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£4.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 26 February 2017
A review I read for this Massive Attack album prior to purchase, is, after listening to it, pretty much spot on, with a few exceptions which I'll go into later. It's inevitable however, when anything is compared to an all time classic (Mezzanine 1998), the comparison isn't really fair. For example, in tennis terms, if you compare Andy Murray with Roger Federer, Murray doesn't really compare all that well, yet he is a brilliant player in his own right. In musical terms, I don't think this album is brilliant and it does suffer because of the presence of Mezzanine. Possibly Massive Attack struggled after their success of '98, with direction for this new album in 2003. Who knows? The previous reviewer stated that they felt the band had attempted a spin off to achieve similar acclaim. I don't agree with this assessment. To me it's darker than Mezzanine and different enough for me to reject that notion. I agree Sinead O'Connor isn't Tracey Thorn in terms of vocals but the song writing is better. For me the album meanders a bit and I agree that it's a bit one paced. Some of the songs don't sufficiently distinguish themselves from one another. Special Cases is a stand out track along with Future Proof. All throughout you can see why Massive Attack have won an award for Original Sound (2009). The only other musical comparison that I can think of here is when Kid A by Radiohead was released in the year 2000. Music critics rounded on the band for this release after their OK Computer classic of '97. They had gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in three years. Picking up a copy of Q Magazine the next time they print a list of what they consider to be the best albums ever made you'll predictably fined OK Computer at the top, but less predictably Kid A in the top 10. The review states that the track "Morning Bell" is the best Radiohead has ever produced. I'm afraid, however, that 100th Window is no Kid A, perhaps because it isn't radical enough to distinguish itself in it's own right from the previous Mezzanine classic. It isn't a carbon copy, but it isn't different enough. Kid A does do this. The reason for the poor reception being that it was so radically different from their classic OK Computer that the critics were gobsmacked. If you listen to Kid A and Ok Computer back to back you'll see what I mean. So 100th Window is a good album. I give it four stars. Highly recommended CD for under £5. If only Robert Del Naja and Thom Yorke would collaborate on something then Utopia would indeed have arrived!!
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on 25 May 2004
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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on 15 June 2003
It seems to me that most people are missing the point of a Massive Attack album. Massive Attack have always been a collective. Members, collaborators and inspirations have come and gone. They are something special, one of the few acts who are still pushing back the boundaries, still providing their listeners with the unexpected and still creating stunning music.
'Blue Lines' was an amazing debut and up there with the best, but the reason it is so good is because it has such soul and clarity. 'Protection' was a band showing they could deliver upon the promise and make a follow up which was equally as good. Although Protection is far more than this, as its a band showing they don't need to rely upon samples for their musical inspiration and can invent sounds in the studio with the same genius that touched the songs they originally sampled.
Is it not obvious why Massive Attack have made 100th Window? They dont want to rely upon samples, but want to continue making music with the same soul and clarity as the samples in these songs had to offer them. Surely we don't want them to remain the same forever? This is their first album without any samples, or cover versions, and it is a massive step in the right direction.
Massive Attack do not have to stay within the confinements of labels such as hip hop; Massive Attack do not have to remain loyal to their so called "black roots"; Massive Attack do not have to release a major single from their album; All Massive Attack have to do is to continue being Massive Attack.
Be thankful for what you've got.
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on 11 February 2003
This new album from Massive Attack has been almost five years in the making. Mezzanine was an absolute masterwork: sexy, brooding and pushing the boundaries. 100th Window is bland in comparison, the lack of Liz Fraser's angelic voice and lyrics and Tricky's trip hop beats mean that this album is flat and simplistic. The lyrics, fortunately printed on the cover, are often incoherent. The intro to each track is promising but rarely delivers. Sinead O Connor's vocals should be avoided at all costs in future albums, A Prayer For England is just not Massive Attack.
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on 11 April 2003
I love Massive Attack. I really do. I have done since I bought Blue Lines during the first Gulf War when they had to change their name to just "Massive". So another Gulf War rolled round and so did another Massive Attack album. Thy say that the more things change the more they stay the same. Well in this case, unfortunately not. Only one member left of the original Wild Bunch posse and boy does it show.
It’s not that the tracks are bad necessarily, just not quite right. The spark of genius and the depth of ability are dulled and faded. And then there’s Sinead. Oh God where did they resurrect this martyr of limited talent from. Her one-hit wonder has long since passed and surely she should’ve quietly drifted off into obscurity. Nope, she’s wailing her thin limited voice over almost half the tracks on this album culminating in the pretentious and pious diatribe, “A Prayer for England”. This is quite possibly the worst track Massive Attack has ever released. Honestly, if I wanted a Sinead O’Connor album, I’d have bought one - I’m sure that the 99p bargain bins are full of them.
On the tracks that Sinead hasn’t ruined, there are still some signs of the old Massive Attack. “Everywhen” and “Future Proof” have a strength and mysterious charm that probably will see them making it as classics. The last three tracks are much richer and fresher sounding and “Name Taken” is a particularly good example of what Massive Attack could become if the band does have a future.
If you remix the album without a couple of the worst Sinead tracks (skip “Special Cases” and the dreadful “A Prayer for England”) and you get a pretty decent 52 minutes, so maybe it’s not all that bad.
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on 29 January 2003
The arrival of the long awaited new Massive Attack album begins with a series of bleeps before pushing us headlong into the IDM-lite sound of "Future Proof." The familier unnerving soundscapes (in the vein of the last album Mezzanine) are pure Massive Attack, but something is different, something darker, with an electronic sinister streak. This reminds me of new Radiohead for some reason, this is not a bad thing.
The second track "What your soul sings" continues into the IDM theme with the new guest star of the album, Sinead O Connor. Her vocals seem out of place here on the first few listens, something not quite right. But after a while you see how she fits so perfectly: eerie and off-charcter.
"Everywhen" actually sounds more like mid-career Tricky than massive attack, but this also shows how the music has evolved so, they are not harking back to the old days but progressing with new recording technologies. "Eveywhen" also is also a welcome return for the beautiful vocals of Mr Horace Andy, this song just seems to fit with what is happening around it. In fact, although flawed, this album seems to fit too. At only 63 minutes (9 songs) in length it doesn't even fill up the CD, but that is okay, this album has been carefully planned, all the songs are longer in length and seem to take you on a journey, and by the time you reach "antistar" you are at the penultimate chapter of an Odyssey. Where this album ultimately fails is that is it not a massive attack album, it does in places sound like a mish mash of sounds not quite one thing or another, but then again this cannot be a bad thing, if one remembers the overproduction of the "Protection" album. The Majority of times you have to hate some songs to really appreciate the one you love. Personally I disliked "Prayer for England" immensly, it just sounds like Electronica by numbers with no real character of it's own, it's massive attack for massive attacks sake etc...
Highlights of the album include, "Butterfly Caught" with its' chilling base and disjointed vocals and the fantastic ending of "antistar" which owes a little to "Inertia Creeps" with it's rhythmic eastern pounding, it is pure 3D on the edge.
In conclusion this is an album you must own, it has it's flaws, but don't we all? Carefully structured and thought out, this is a return to form and will be in your stereos for a long time to come.
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on 1 March 2003
After creating the work of brilliance that was Mezzanine, Massive Attack perhaps shot themselves in the foot.
How could they improve on such a dark, disturbing, majestic work of art?
The answer is: with difficulty.
Any band who leaves their audience waiting five years for a new album is in a dangerous state of affairs, as the anticipation and build up will lead to a crashing disappointment if the record does not match its predecessor.
With 100th Window, Massive Attack have failed to evolve from Mezzanine, choosing to stick with the same dark, spine-tingling mood but without the fantastic beats and samples. Instead, there is a more electronic, ambient feel, with the drums much lower in the mix than on previous albums.
100th Window works brilliantly as a chill-out album, as it is immensely relaxing, atmospheric and at times, beautiful. Sinead O'Connor's vocals are good, she perhaps can't quite match Liz Fraser in the singing department but so what, it still works.
If this record was made by an unknown band, a band who did not have the weight of the world's expectations on them, then it would get rave reviews for what it is - a top chill-out album, dark, moody, atmospheric... and it would not be damned by Massive Attack's previously more ground breaking work.
Give it a try, if you're a Massive fan you will still be impressed and it certainly beats most of today's new releases.
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on 11 February 2003
No passion, way too dark, unfulfilling. The tracks kind of blend into soundscapes but they lack feeling and subtelty.
Unfortunate then for Massive Attack that after this they will no longer be as high up the music hierarchy as they were before. This CD has managed just one day in my collection.
There isn't really much to say about this apart from how boring it is. I'm off to go sleep!
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on 12 August 2003
This is one of the best albums of the year. The new Massive Attack is darkly poetic and mirrors Mezzanine in some respects. If you;re into Blue Lines or Protection, this might not be for you. I personally believe this band gets better and better, veering away from the R&Bish sounds from before. If you like the darker, more intelligent side of this now one-man band you will definitly enjoy it.
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on 12 February 2003
What an album, so different to the first three offerings. The commercialness of the first two and Mezzanine's very angry guitar cracks make this so so cool and mellow in comparison. Everywhen is a favourite, as is Special Cases. Antistar is some sort of Middle Eastern orgasmic trippy nightmare that just keeps on giving. Can't get enough !
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