The essential trip-hop record.
Ahead of the curve with the genre-blending of rap and electronica, 'Mezzanine' (1998), the third album from the one and only Massive Attack is the quintessential cornerstone of the genre, and one of the most innovative and timeless records to emerge from the 1990s.
Alongside 'Dummy' (1994) from Portishead, and 'Maxinquaye' (1995) from Tricky, the album shows to be one of the last logical progressions of the genre as it breaches further into dark, schizophrenic explorations of paranoia, heartbreak and isolation. Most would know the album for its single 'Teardrop', as it served both as a hit and the theme from 'House'. This is also in addition to its iconic video directed by Walter Stem, who also directed the 'Breathe' clip for The Prodigy.
The song only serves as the tip of the iceberg of the sounds to come. There is the haunting abstraction of 'Dissolved Girl' or the building momentum of the opener 'Angel'. All songs presented blend noise, post-punk, hip hop and rock to a new sonic depth of emotion and atmosphere that has not been met since. The guest vocalists from Tricky and Cocteau Twin's add further to the menacing to soft dynamics presented.
The cutting edge has never sounded so unsettling. And some 20 years later, it remains a disturbing beacon of critical acclaim and commercial success. It's a testament to what artists can achieve if left to their own troubled devices.
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