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on 8 December 2017
bought this on cd when 1st released with the blue cover, saw this for sale with an orange cover so thought yeah il have that but wot colour did I get? yep another blue 1, apart from that I love the album coz ya can't beat a bit o massive 😊
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on 7 December 2015
Best album ever!
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on 25 November 2014
Great Purchase
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on 15 June 2014
its kind rare now but you can still find it for a great price, 2 awesome record ! buy it
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on 31 March 2011
To be honest, I overlooked this album when it first came out. The main reason was that the previous album, 100th Window, was incredibly one-paced, and, for want of a better word, dreary. The tracks on that album had poor lyrics, and one dimensional vocalists Del Naja (ok for a track or so) & Sinead O'Connor (?), and the tracks had no hooks, no progression, no definition, no edge, and for me, held no interest, sounding slightly muzaky.

Heligoland is what i call vintage Massive Attack. The variation is there, and a decent array of guest vocalists are present. So, in some respects this is like Blue Lines, but has more in common with Mezzanine, sounding quite dark and dense. 'Flat of the blade' does give the listener some restbite from that heavy atmosphere though, but even this track evolves and brings the listener back in by it's conclusion - it serves as a puncuation for the album (a good thing in my opinion). Whether Heligoland will hold my interest like Blue Lines (which, incidently, is starting to sound a little dated) and Mezzanine, or will suffer the same fate as Protection (which was accomplished but a little 'safe'), remains to be seen. I suspect it won't lose my interest because it has that slightly haunting quality and distinctive enough tracks. It will take quite a few listens to understand this album - more than the usual 4 or 5, i'm talking 10+ listens.

This has gone under the radar a bit, with people having unrealistic expectations of it, but trust me, there is some real quality here. A lot of the tracks ebb and flow with real aplomb, changing continually, most of which is subtly engaging in different ways, never stagnating, never repeating the same vocalists or patterns across the course of the album. No real standout tracks, but then why should there be? This is an album in the true sense of the word. It's going to be spending quite a lot of time in my CD player over the next few months.
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on 6 January 2016
HAVE THEY DONE IT AGAIN? I must say that, it is really easy for me to BIG up Massive Attack as they are from Bristol as am I and I have always loved underground and weird music, BUT I wouldn't BIG up Massive if this was a crap album. IT ISN'T! Naturally after listening to this it cemented my respect for them as In my opinion this is a really great and unique work. Very powerful lyrics and sounds with the honourable uses of other great producers/artists such as Elbows Guy Garvey and Blur's Damon Alburn. There is an un-equalled power and uniqueness to Massive Attacks ability to create fresh new sounds and I am impressed once again. 3D alone is such a talented creator of many things and Daddy G is a thoughtful and deep cat who has a rare skill for just knowing how things should sound. Together they are true masters of the darker side of chilled dub breakbeat music. So have they done it again? That would be a resounding YES!
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on 17 January 2010
After 7 long years, Massive Attack fans are finally rewarded with the album they have been waiting for. Since their last album in 2003; rumours came and went about the mysterious "Weather Underground" project which never ended up happening, they released a Greatest Hits album, they made the occasional song like "United Snakes" or "Living With Me", various live shows were held trialling new material (which flooded the pages of YouTube) and they scored a soundtrack for "Unleashed" which was great in some ways but hardly the 5th album people were waiting for. Now, "Heligoland" has landed and I'm predicting mixed emotions.

The album initially strikes me as routine Massive material, featuring the usual blend of styles, tones and guest vocalists, and seems to carry on pretty naturally from 100th Window. There are similarities between many of the tracks here and those that appeared on Protection, 100th Window and of course Mezzanine. Whether fans will regard this quite as highly as former efforts is uncertain, but it will undoubtedly be received as a "fantastic return to from" by many. I must say I have my doubts about the longevity of "Heligoland", especially if we are expected to wait till 2017 for another, mainly due to the fact that I was expecting something a little more revolutionary. With Daddy G back onboard, many fans became really excited that Massive Attack were heading back to their Mezzanine era which seemed like a good idea at the time (given 100th Window's dissappointing reception by many) but now I'm a little bit disappointed by what I see as a kind of regression. (Especially since I loved 100th Window).

So, how about the tracks then? Firstly, I was massively disappointed by "Splitting the Atom" when I first heard it. Considering all the energetic, band based, vocal drenched material I'd heard from their live shows, I was really not expecting a slow, synthy, trip hop number with Daddy G's horribly drowsy vocals. There was a silver lining though in the way of "Psyche (Flash Treatment)" with it's deep, erie tones resonating in my head long after the track had finished. This set up my curiousity for the rest of the album and here's how each track breaks down in my mind.

1. "Pray For Rain" is a great track but doesn't strike me as an appropriate opener (considering the raw power of previous openers like "Angel" and "Future Proof").
2. "Babel" is another great track with pounding beats and sultry vocals from Martina Topley Bird.
3. "Splitting" is not one of my favourites.
4. "Girl I Love You" is a wicked Horace Andy track (originally called "16 Seeter" online) with a driving bassy rhythm and some dark instrumentals creeping in.
5. Next we have "Psyche" which unfortunately is nowhere near as good as the epic version from the EP.
6. Unfortunately next we have "Flat of the Blade" (also called "Bulletproof Love" on the EP) with Elbow's Guy Garvey. It's definately my least favourite track on the album but I'll let you make your own mind up about it.
7. "Paradise Circus" ("Harpsichord" by name online) is a lovely little track reminiscent of "Teardrop" featuring a stunning string arrangement.
8. "Rush Minute" is an excellent track with 3D back on vocals in a tone vaguely similar to "Future Proof".
9. "Saturday Comes Soon" with Damon Albarn isn't really great or bad, it's average Massive Attack.
10. Last but certainly not least "Atlas Air" (formerly called "Marakesh" online) appears to salvage an album that has been marred by a few tracks. It finalises this latest effort in much the same way that the fantastic "Antisatr" did on 100th Window. Another 3D track, another success.

Which begs certain questions that other fans might share. What on earth has become of some of the other great live tracks like "All I Want", "Kingpin", "Red Light", "Marooned" and the awesome "Dobro"? Let's just hope they might see the light of day at some point.

To conclude, i'll be really interested to see whether "Heligoland" will stand the test of time like "Blue Lines" or "Mezzanine. I personally feel that it's not good enough to satisfy a 7 year wait and I'm sure some fans will agree with me. Most other fans will probably love it whether naturally or forcefully and regular listeners will probably take it or leave it. I will probably end up loving it more as Massive Attack albums tend to grow and grow on their fans, but from the outset, not their strongest selection of songs. Go and see them live for a real experience.
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on 7 February 2010
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 helped set DJ culture into the mainstream, and "Mezzanine" (1998) that added heavy, howling guitars in the mix to a mostly stunning effect.

So, what's to expect from this, their 5th album proper in a mere twenty years career ? Well, as many other reviewers noted, a bit of the same and something different at once. First striking thing is the actual sound of the whole record. Some pointed out a supposed return to the coldness of "Mezzanine", but that's not at all what I hear here. If "100th Window", their 2003 effort, was a letdown to many fans, being more of a 3D solo effort than a collective work, in fact it furthered the post-punk hint "Mezzanine" suggested, replacing the loud guitar shriek with icy electro beats. The results were, to say the least, mixed, but at least it was still seeking forward, sonically speaking. On "Heligoland", by contrast, everything is understated, from the drum patterns to the shy basslines, from a quiet organ part in the background to voices you feel are more dreamt than actually performed. That's a record that almost begs forgiveness for existing at all, rather than punching its pride in your face, which is why it probably won't get among die-hard fans (let alone the mainstream) the same praise as their giddy peaks mentioned above.

Take, for example, languid opener "Pray For Rain", magnified by TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe ; on previous records, songs like "Safe From Harm", "Angel", "Protection" and even "Future Proof" were kicking proceedings in panache and style, but here you get a moody lament over a tense rolling drumbeat that keeps things tight but never to the point of explosion. If there's a revolution this time around (and as far as I know nobody pointed this out yet), that's precisely the fact that, for once, Massive Attack seem to have opted for a rather organic simplicity instead of creating the beat monster everyone expected (especially in the wake of the awesome "United Snakes" released in 2006 as the flip to "False Flags", and that could have been a welcome addition here).

Yet for all simple it appears, "Heligoland" is a much thought of record, being neither minimal nor easy, it's just that the main body of work hides behind the curtains. As always, the vocalists guestlist must have been quite helpful too : the two Martina Topley-Bird contributions, on the false calmdown "Psyche" and the tense "Babel" shine on, while, oddly, the exquisitely lightweight "Paradise Circus" - an obvious choice for the single - could have been an outtake from that singer's great LP, "Blue God"... except that it's performed (almost haunted, more like) by ex-Mazzy Star diva Hope Sandoval. Also, while not being a big Elbow fan to be frank, I have to give an accolade to their frontman Guy Garvey, who provides his wonderful, almost atonal falsetto on "Flat Of The Blade", making that difficult seemingly weird song sound like an early Peter Gabriel lost gem. Overall the record is less diverse but more consistent than other Massive LPs ; like another reviewer rightly pointed out, there's no real standout tracks yet there's no filler either (I still can't figure out, though, why Damon Albarn has been casted for the relatively dull "Saturday Come Slow", apart from his obvious friendship with the band).

Still, for all great those guests' performances are (and it has to be noted that for each one of them, the backing tracks seem to have been made up especially this time more than ever), it's from 3D himself and regular partner Horace Andy that the best comes again here ; at first together with Daddy G. on the narcotic anthem "Splitting The Atom", then the latter delivers on "Girl I Love You", which despite what its unworthy title might suggest, is a broody reggae-rock hybrid, driven by an epileptic bassline, while, like on "100th Window", the former gets to sound alarmingly worried and warmly seductive at the same time. At that, "Rush Minute" and "Atlas Air" are arguably the best things here, almost towers of song reaching the same heights the frightening "Antistar" did as the closer on the much maligned predecessor to this album.

So overall, "Heligoland" might not be as groundbreaking as the stuff Massive Attack are most known for, but it showcases a collective (with the back of Daddy G, largely absent from the previous decade's output) daring to experiment in his own field, which will be fair enough for some, and disappointing for others. But believe me, a bit like their underrated "Protection" (1994), that beast of a sensitive record (their best effort in my opinion, still), this really, almost physically, GROWS on you.
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on 24 October 2010
I was introduced to Massive Attack by my daughter and immediately liked their last CD. This one however took me a while. My first thought was 'can't see me playing this much' but I left it in the car on the CD changer and gradually got used to it and now really appreciates the depths and nuances of the music.
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on 25 June 2012
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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