Additional personnel: Horace Andy, Elizabeth Fraser, Sara Jay (vocals); Angelo Bruschini (guitar); Neil Davidge (keyboards, samples); Dave Jenkins, Michael Timothy (keyboards); John Harris, Bob Locke, Winston Blissett (bass); Andy Gangadeen (drums).
Recorded at Massive Attack and Christchurch Studios, Bristol, England.
What do you do when you've already changed the face of music once in a decade? If you're Bristol, UK sonic architects Massive Attack, you refine the model for the times. MEZZANINE, the third album from the producer/DJ crew who, for all intents and purposes, created the genre of trip-hop, is thicker, less spacious and far more guitar-heavy than their previous efforts. Then again, the blue-print remains: hip-hop beats, behemoth bass underpinnings and spare melodic overtones still control Massive Attack's drive. After all, one doesn't expect the inventors to abandon their discoveries just because every pop new jack is onto their gold mine.
What the critics say…
Spin (1/99, p.91) - Ranked #6 on Spin's list of "Top 20 Albums of '98."
Entertainment Weekly (5/15/98, pp.102-103) - "MEZZANINE is Victorian trip-hop--hulking, clangorous, and dank….It's industrial music for the turn of the century--the 19th century." - Rating: A-
Q (12/99, p.100) - Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q (6/00, p.80) - Ranked #15 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "…Sonic murk and gloom…a punk-hop record about autism…"
The Wire (1/99, p.27) - Included in Wire's "50 Records Of The Year "
Mixmag (1/99, p.49) - Included in Mixmag's "Ten Best Albums of 98" - "…Britain's coolest band…"
CMJ (1/11/99, p.7) - "…The grandfathers of trip-hop pulled off yet another wise and wily album, redefining the future shape of pop, soul and trip-hop, while inspiring another wave of artists in the process…"
Musician (7/98, pp.84-86) - "…at once the best and most personal album of their career….MEZZANINE shows them creating exotic, bruised backdrops for battered relationships that feel as strangely alienating as a night out with Travis Bickle…"
Mojo (Publisher) (p.66) - Ranked #14 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "[I]t evokes DARK SIDE OF THE MOON's epic yet intimate dread, reflected in the obliquely monochrome title…"
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