‘Heligoland’ – Massive Attack.
So I’ve decided to do a second review almost straight after my first just to kick things off a bit.
*Draws back the curtains ‘Ladies and Gents, I would like to present to you ‘Heligoland’ by Massive Attack’. *A few resounding claps only.
Heligoland. The name sounded promising.
Massive Attack is actually a quite talented ‘band’. However, I’m not sure what state of mind they were in when they were writing this album… but I see glimpses of talent glowing faintly through the murky water.
I will start by saying that the album confused me. ‘Heligoland’ I found was a very ‘soundtrack’ album. I’m thinking 28 Days sort of stuff as it has quite a ‘dark tinge’ to it.
There was little eclecticism in this album, but what eclecticism there is, is quite good. I found that every song on the album was roughly in the same time but just differentiated with alternate sound layers. The album is very ‘drum and beats’ – but not in a ‘doof doof’ sort of way. The beats are quite bland, and I really feel that in a ‘band’ like Massive Attack, you need a bit of interest and little technical difficulty; ‘Psyche’ for example.
However, there were three songs that stood out to me on the album. The first was ‘Girl, I Love You’. The beat was awesome; it had quite a syncopated (almost funk) element to it. I didn’t quite satisfy though. The song was very impressive, but I found that I had completely discovered the song after listening to it only a handful of times, and then after that I became restless.
The second is ‘Paradise Circus’ which is quite a ‘lovely’ song; Hope Sandoval from ‘Mazzy Star’ features in this song and her voice accompanies the song quite well. The lyrics were decent; there is enough alteration in the song to keep things interesting, it is quite a gentle song and it uses many different techniques. This song is probably the pick off the album. Hope has a really lovely voice, and it’s quite soothing and quiet. This is a very simple song but very striking.
‘Pray for Rain’ is the third exception on the album. This song was quite good fun to listen to; it builds up, then breaks down, then flattens out and commences groove factor. This song is probably the jewel of the album; the first half of the song is quite boring and bland, then it starts to pep up and becomes ‘official awesomeness’ – however the bland and boringness soon comes in and takes over again (at which point I always change the song).
I got lost in this album a bit. It’s hard to tell where they have drawn the line with their synthesizer; it sounds as thought every sound has been altered in some way.
I think that it is safe to say that Heligoland is a very experimental album; it sounds like Massive Attack didn’t really have any direction or discipline when writing the album. A lot of the same sounds are used on each track, so in that way it is hard to ‘take a break’ from track to track. I really feel that a little more colour and flavour could have been used to pep things up a bit – ‘Rush Minute’almost put me to sleep.
I found the album quite dissonant on the whole. It’s definitely not easy listening.
Over all I would probably give this album ONE STAR – I feel that I didn’t get enough out of this album for me to give much back.