Additional personnel: Sinead O'Connor, Horace Andy, Robert Del Naja (vocals); Angelo Bruschini (guitar); Skaila Kanga (harp); Stuart Gordon (violin); Jon Harris (bass); Damon Reece (drums).
Producers: Robert Del Naja, Neil Davidge.
After a five-year gap, the follow-up to 1998's lauded MEZZANINE finds Massive Attack picking up right where they left off, as though no time had passed at all. The trademark mix of downtempo electronica, slithery trip-hop, darkly ambient atmospherics, and spacious dub production touches is still strongly in place, and this time around Sinead O'Connor fills the dreamy-chanteuse role played on MEZZANINE by Cocteau Twin Elizabeth Fraser. The contrast of smooth, orchestral textures and wide, open sonic spaces with moody, paranoiac touches and creepy, downcast emotional vistas continues to make for some effective dynamics. The tempo picks up on the pulsing, insistent "A Prayer For England," but for the most part this is music to dream by, even if those dreams do turn out to be unsettling and subversive, full of strangely attractive uneasiness.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (2/20/03, p.61) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...This may be the most accessible, freaky, futuristic electronic head-food album on the market..."
Spin (3/03, pp.117-8) - 7 out of 10 - "...100TH WINDOW is a masterpiece of haunted sonics..."
Uncut (3/03, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...There's a radioactive air about the album, which coupled with the use of Eastern, Arabic strings, brings to musical life a palpable sense of post-September 11 tension....It takes you there..."
The Wire (2/03, p.62) - "...Yawning, meticulous Ambient fields....It's all elegantly executed and often beguiling..."
Vibe (4/03, p.178) - 4 discs out of 5 - "...With its ice-cold beats, smoldering bass lines, and shimmering textures, this is one of the most openly erotic albums British pop has ever given us..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/03, p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[Del Naja] is by turns breathy and uncertain, sensitive and coaxing, seductive and menacing....Massive Attack are still restless, still questing, still chary of stagnation..."
- Future Proof
- What Your Soul Sings
- Special Cases
- Butterfly Caught
- Prayer For England, A
- Small Time Shot Away
- Name Taken
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