Ah, Massive Attack, the bona fide legends of, erm, well some would say trip-hop, others would say experimental. A lot more say that they simply defy genre. Releasing classics such "Unfinished Sympathy," "Angel" and "Teardrop," amongst many others, they continually break boundaries with every album they release. However have they with this, their first album since 2003's "100th Window" managed to continue this trend? Put simply: yes.
The thing that usually lets down bands is that they lack variety. However, Massive Attack manages to avoid falling into this pit, mainly due to the fact that they have a different singer for every song. For example, it'd be impossible to know that "Saturday Come Slow" (which features the always excellent Damon Albarn) and "Babel" (which features the extremely talented Martina Topley-Bird) are on the same album without prior knowledge. The album itself is chock full of gems. From the almost tribal opener "Pray for Rain" to the breathtaking final track "Atlas Air," the album doesn't feature one single weak point.
Of course, there are some songs which shine a bit brighter than the rest; these include "Paradise Circus," which sounds like a spiritual successor to "Teardrop" and "Girl I Love You," which takes the listener onto a dark spiritual journey and makes for an exhilarating listen. The aforementioned "Babel" and "Saturday Come Slow," however, are by far the best songs on the album. "Babel" in its psychedelic overtones makes the listener unable to switch the song off. "Saturday Come Slow" is upbeat and euphoric and its refrain of "do you love me" will have the listener sing along without even knowing it. It's also a heartbreaking plea for someone to return the love you feel for them.
So it looks like Massive Attack have done it again. They have created an innovative, original and boundary-breaking new album which this reviewer highly recommends. Let's just hope we won't have to wait as long as we did this time around for their next album. Even if we do though, Massive Attack have proved it will be worth the wait.