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Title - ‘100th Window’ (Virgin)
Artist - Massive Attack
I was first introduced to Massive Attack with Protection (1995), and it went on from there. I've always enjoyed their work, especially Mezzanine. With this in mind, I still expected to be let down by the new album. So on my first listen, I had a skeptical ear. I got through it and didn't think much at first. But it did sound very interesting. And then I listened to it again. And again. And then I found that when I wasn't listening to it, I was still hearing it. I have now gone from skeptical to amazed. This is still Massive Attack, but they keep taking you to a different place. This album gave me fresh ears for all of their work, and I had to go back and listen to each album in succession. I was surprised to find myself enjoying their progression even more deeply than I had before. Sinead O'Connor also lends vocals to 3 tracks, but in places sounds a tad bit tired, her voice perhaps not fitting into the ultimate game plan that the Attack had culled. Her best effort though has to be the remake of ’Safe From Harm’ (Blue Lines), now recorded as ’'A Prayer for England'. With 9 tracks and yet at a whopping 73 minutes long, if you've ever liked their work before, then I suggest you give 100th Window a listen. Listen to it with headphones, or with a really good stereo system, because there is a lot of depth and space to become absorbed inside.
Nick Gurney