I’ve been planning on reviewing some of the records which changed my way of listening to music. You could say they have set new bars to compare to or opened an unkown section of the musical spectrum for me. Today: Mezzanine by Massive Attack.
Released in 1998, this is considered a landmark record in the trip-hop genre: dark, soulful, dubby electronic music with fragile vocals.
Let’s go through my favorite tracks:
As an opening track, the blueprint is the simple bass synth which swells throughout the entire song. This track has been used extensively in a lot of feature films, because of the guitar explosion at 2:24.
In the first part of the song 3D and DaddyG rap/sing about an out of control relation, in which both sides percieve fear and isolation.
Why you want to take me to this party and breathe
I’m dying to leave
Every time we grind you know we sever lines
Where have all those flowers gone
Long time passing
Why you keep it testing, keep on tasking
You keep on asking
At 2:30, the song seems to grind to a halt, to burst open again with a distorted synth at 2:42. This one has been sampled numerous time, and it is a personal favorite, although I can’t shake the feeling this would be better with Tricky (which appeared on the Blue Lines) rapping.
A collaboration with Portishead. Maybe best known nowadays as the opening tune of the popular show House M.D., although it is featured without the wonderful vocals there. This was the highest-ranking song from the album, but it does not represent the overall mood of the album.
Dissolved Girl (6:09) and Group Four (8:14)
Impassioned vocals, heavy dub and trashy guitars. Excellent angel voices by Elizabeth Fraser.