1998, Music

Mezzanine (1998) by Massive Attack

Massive Attack is more towards the Hip Hop side of Trip Hop and for me that’s a bit of an issue since Hip Hop has never been my thing and the whole appeal of Trip Hop for me is the lack of rapping.

But there isn’t a lot of rapping here, so I should probably try to come up with a better reason why I don’t like Massive Attack (and this record) as much as Portishead or Bjork.

The first reason is that I generally non-electronic music to electronic music and, in addition to skewing more hip hop than pop or rock, Massive Attack skew more electronic than rock (though hardly on all tracks).

The second reason is really just a smaller pierce of the first reason: I often prefer more conventional songs to electronic “songs” which break away from conventional verse-chorus structures. With not a lot of lyrics (relatively speaking), there’s less of an authorial voice here than on the Trip Hop I like. (Or rather, there are more than one. And some of them involve rap and some of them involve lots of repetition.)

None of this is to say that this isn’t good music, just to say that, despite being a fan of some Trip Hop, this isn’t really my thing. And it’s hard for me to decide how it really compares with other Trip Hop records, or how good it really is, when I just instantly like it less due to the more hip hop/electronic vibe.

7/10?

  1. “Angel” by Robert Del Naja, Grantley Marshal,l Andrew Vowles, Horace Hinds; 6:18
  2. “Risingson” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles, Lou Reed, Pete Seeger; 4:58
  3. “Teardrop” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles, Elizabeth Fraser; 5:29
  4. “Inertia Creeps” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles; 5:56
  5. “Exchange” by Del Naja, Marshall Vowles, Bob Hilliard, Mort Garson; 4:11
  6. “Dissolved Girl” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles, Sara Jay, Matt Schwartz; 6:07
  7. “Man Next Door” by John Holt; 5:55
  8. “Black Milk” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles, Fraser; 6:20
  9. “Mezzanine” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles; 5:54
  10. “Group Four” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles, Fraser; 8:13
  11. “(Exchange)” by Del Naja, Marshall, Vowles, Hinds, Hilliard, Garson; 4:08
  • Robert Del Naja – vocals, production, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples, art direction, design
  • Grant Marshall – vocals, production, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples
  • Andrew Vowles – production, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples

Other personnel

  • Neil Davidge – production, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples
  • Horace Andy (tracks 1, 7, 11), Elizabeth Fraser (tracks 3, 8, 10), Sara Jay (track 6) – vocals
  • Angelo Bruschini – guitars
  • Jon Harris, Bob Locke, Winston Blisset – bass guitars
  • Andy Gangadeen – drums
  • Dave Jenkins, Michael Timothy – additional keyboards
  • Jan Kybert – Pro Tools
  • Lee Shepherd – engineering (Massive Attack and Christchurch Studios)
  • Mark “Spike” Stent – mixing (Olympic Studios)
  • Jan Kybert, Paul “P-Dub” Walton – mixing assistance
  • Tim Young – editing, engineering (Metropolis Studios)

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