Massive Attack’s elusive and visionary third full-length back in print. Mezzanine eschewed much of the soundsystem-influenced homegrown Bristol sound they had previously perfected on Blue Lines and Protection, in favor of a dark & brooding new guitar-infused approach. The wall of guitar that rips through opener “Angel” would firmly signal their idealistic new sonic direction, but a glimpse of their shades-on-in-the-club urban chic is present in the rearview mirror on “Risingson”, “Black Milk” and “Group Four”. Founding member Andrew Vowles left the group after the recording of Mezzanine, displeased with the turn the band had taken. The album would prove to be the band’s most successful, entering the UK album chart at number one. Featuring outstanding contributions from Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser (“Teardrop”, “Black Milk”, “Group Four”) and longtime comrade Horace Andy (“Angel”, “Man Next Door”, “Exchange”) alongside increased vocal spots from 3D and Daddy G after Tricky’s departure to focus on his solo career. The introduction of producer Neil Davidge to the fold would add a special cinematic edge to the album and all future output from the band. Mezzanine continues to be perfect fodder for movies and television nearly 20 years on, with contributions to The Matrix, Snatch, House and more bolstering the band’s fanbase over the years. After being out of print for 15 years, with spotty bootleg pressings popping up every so often, the crown jewel of Massive Attack’s rich discography is finally available again on double vinyl, with all original samples intact. Recommended.
- double vinyl pressing
- printed inner sleeves
- music label: Circa Records 2017
reviewed by peanut dust 05/2017