Massive Attack have always had an uneasy relationship with consistency, but never let it be said that their albums don’t contain moments of
‘Heligoland’, largely, maintains that reputation: beautiful highs, surrounded with tedious electro-dub.
Thankfully, the peaks come more frequently here than on any Massive Attack album since ‘Blue Lines’ – Tunde Adebimpe is beautifully smoky and sleepy on slo-mo tango ‘Pray For Rain’, and the Guy Garvey-led ‘Flat of the
Blade’ is a gorgeously woozy melding of human and machine. At the top of the pile though is ‘Saturday Come Slow’, building
walls of guitars and strings underneath the tenderest performance Damon Albarn has turned in since, well, ‘Tender’.
But Heligoland is more than just another imperfect Massive Attack album; there’s a sense of purpose and drive here, and maybe even consistency.
alone a second. Both had chequered histories when it came to committing,
with projects left half-finished and releases restricted to the short-form.
“I’d been in bands since I was thirteen, so by the time we made our first album, it’d taken me ten years to get there,”
Pillay reflects. “It was a case of proving to ourselves we could actually do it.”
“You feel like you’ve got something to prove and that it has to be really strong, a statement of intent,” concurs Richards.
“Especially because I had a bit of a track record of not finishing things.
I was in another band where we recorded half an album, and then left it
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