Massive Attack, Mezzanine (1998)
I remember seeing the video for Teardrop – and stopping in my tracks. It was a Saturday morning, it was peak-era for MTV and the whole integration of music/videos for me; you watched music TV, you took it in, it was how you found out about new stuff. I was probably on my way to a shower or something after a Friday night out and someone in the flat had left the telly on – it was before lunchtime, but maybe only just. And there was this song – and the video. It is, thinking about it now, probably one of the last times where I’ve experienced a brand new song and video together like that, and been wowed by both. I was excited to get the new Massive Attack album then. Because I was a fan. I might have arrived at Tricky first, actually – but then through that and Portishead and interest in trip-hop and the associated acts I caught up with those first two Massive Attack albums – which I still love. I preferred Protection at the time but now I’d be more likely to listen to Blue Lines all the way through. Mezzanine is something else – a different sound, a different band – it’s a rock album. Almost. Sure there’s subtlety, and remnants of the earlier sound, some gossamer is in there. But a lot of crunch too. A lot of attitude. Brilliant, beautiful dynamic range. It’s been an album I’ve loved, and never forgotten about, over nearly 20 years now. So it’s nice to re-experience it on record – first time for me owning the vinyl; got it just recently. Magic. Massive Attack has offered up some interesting things since – but that first run of three albums is near-perfect, unbeatable. They won’t match it. But then – neither will just about anyone else.
Sample Track: Inertia Creeps
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown