Heligoland

Heligoland

4.3 9
by Massive Attack
     
 
Until 2003's 100th Window, each Massive Attack album had been a discrete record, stylistically distinct and mostly unconnected to what had gone before it (even if it included the same vocalists). By sounding like an inferior copy of the 1998 landmark Mezzanine, 100th Window broke a string

Overview

Until 2003's 100th Window, each Massive Attack album had been a discrete record, stylistically distinct and mostly unconnected to what had gone before it (even if it included the same vocalists). By sounding like an inferior copy of the 1998 landmark Mezzanine, 100th Window broke a string and led to negative reviews. Heligoland marks a return to departures. The sound of Massive Attack circa 2010 has some similarities to what the group has done in the past, but overall, this represents a radical shift in music-making. Granted, most of the Massive Attack hallmarks are still here: gripping music laden with tension and dread, a production that sounds fathoms deep, and an insular worldview represented by a cast of vocalists both new and old. (The new voices include Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Elbow's Guy Garvey, and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe.) What's immediately apparent, however, from the opener "Pray for Rain" is the sparseness and understated air on display here. With Adebimpe on vocals, the track begins with a rattling of bones and a resigned air whose closest predecessor is "In a Lonely Place" by New Order (a group who practically defined the word understated with their music prior to 1982). This certainly isn't the Massive Attack that floated the smoothest British house of the early '90s, and more surprisingly, it's also not the Massive Attack that created dense, immersive trip-hop during the '90s and early 2000s. At times, it's clear that Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge's work on soundtracks during the 2000s has adversely affected their main project, resulting in music that skirts the background as often as not. Heligoland often sounds like a soundtrack, most likely the score to some dystopic thriller such as Children of Men or 28 Days Later. The album also isn't as experimental as the music Massive Attack made in the past. Unlike Portishead's Third, a classic comeback from their fellow Bristolians, it also lacks the balance of experimentation and emotion (the latter especially has often been a weakness in Massive Attack's output compared to their peers). True, Horace Andy and Hope Sandoval front some impressive productions, and Damon Albarn's "Saturday Come Slow" is one of his best post-Blur features (including Gorillaz), but overall Heligoland lacks the majesty and might of classic Massive Attack.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/09/2010
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
5099960946621
catalogNumber:
09466
Rank:
46497

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Massive Attack   Primary Artist
Horace Andy   Vocals
Damon Albarn   Bass,Keyboards,Vocals
Andy Grappy   Brass
Noel Langley   Brass
Adrian Utley   Guitar
Neil Davidge   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Hope Sandoval   Vocals
Martina Topley-Bird   Vocals
Damon Reece   Drums
Grant Marshall   Vocals
Guy Garvey   Vocals
Tim Goldsworthy   Keyboards
David Andrew Sitek   Guitar
Tunde Adebimpe   Vocals
Chris Storr   Brass
Jerry Fuchs   Drums
Euan Dickinson   Keyboards
Dan Austin   Keyboards
Billy Fuller   Bass
Robert del Naja   Keyboards,Vocals
Stew Jackson   Guitar
John Baggott   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Stuart Gordon   String Arrangements
Leo Sidran   Engineer
Neil Davidge   Composer,Programming,Producer
Robert "3D" del Naja   Composer
Hope Sandoval   Composer
Jason Cox   Engineer
Grant Marshall   Composer,Producer
Tim Goldsworthy   Programming,Additional Production
Eric Broucek   Engineer
Euan Dickinson   Programming,Engineer
Garvey   Composer
Dan Austin   Programming
Graham Archer   Engineer
Robot Club   Engineer
Del Naja   Composer
Davidge   Composer
Lee Shephard   Engineer
Robert del Naja   Composer,Programming,Producer,Artwork,Art Direction
Stew Jackson   Composer,Programming

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Heligoland 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Earshot78 More than 1 year ago
The amazing thing about this new album, is that it's #1 a true Massive Attack CD. There are some striking similarities and consistencies in it's sound, when compared to their debut album Blue Lines. Like Blue Lines, it's minimal, with just enough eeriness to be considered real trip-hop. But then again Massive Attack are one of the forefathers of trip-hop. Heligoland just borderlines on edgy rock, yet gets funky in spots. All the spirit of the trip-hop world is felt through out each track. And #2 it marks the return of nearly all of it's original components Grantley Marshall (a.k.a Daddy G), Robert Del "3D" Naja along with Neil Davidge. But unfortunately no Andrew Vowles to speak of and Tricky is doing quit well in his long lived solo career. Plus the add ons such as Elizabeth Frazier, Martina Topley-Bird and Mr Horace Andy etc from previous albums make their return. This joyous reunion means that Daddy G and Robert Del Naja, after an extensive cooling off period, have returned to the sound that put them on the forefront of a fairly new genre. In other words their production methods are fresh and back to normal. Heligoland is a new era for the tripped out faction and what a come back it is.
emilyenaway More than 1 year ago
I can't top the 1st reviewer so just am going to give my favorite track #'s-the cd is backloaded (in my opinion) so 7, 8, 9, and 10 are the best (also 3 and 4) :)
alegna11 More than 1 year ago
I love that MA is still going strong after all these years and coming up with new music that sounds fresh and innovative. While Heligoland is a bit of a departure from their previous album, it still has the signature sounds that I associate with Massive Attack. I love the way they layer sounds and melodies over each other for an end result that is a perfect intricate balance where sounds flow over each other rather than compete within the song. The songs have that soulful, gritty kind of sound-not overproduced as so much of today's music is-that remind me of the old days listening to records when you could hear just a faint tinge of scratchiness in the background. Tracks I have on repeat are: (1) Pray for Rain, (3) Splitting the Atom, (4) Girl I Love You, (7) Paradise Circus, (8) Rush Minute and (9) Saturday Come Slow. It's the kind of album that reinforces why they're the forefathers of the trip hop movement.
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