Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” (1998)

(Originally Posted February 12th, 2013)

Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” is an eerie, funky, and uniquely melodic album. The drums and bass are almost always keeping a slow pace, educing a head-rocking syncopation  – which is accompanied by distorted guitars, choral chants, distant vocals, and other special effects that drape the catchy rhythms in sheets of dissonance. Hence, eerie and funky.

“Mezzanine” might be one of the most cohesive albums I’ve ever listened to. The songs don’t fade into each other or anything like that – but the tone of each complements another – every song sounds like it belongs on this album, every song sounds “Mezzanine”.  “Teardrop”, the recognizable theme to House MD is relaxing, emotional, and complete with a spine-tingling, haunting vocal performance by the Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser. “Teardrop” is worlds away from the album’s next song, “Inertia Creeps”; which mixes Arabic sounds with soft-spoken rap, and yet despite this the two songs sound very fitting next to each other. I also attribute the album’s composure to Massive Attack’s “Exchange” and “(Exchange)”, the song and it’s reprise sample Quincy Jones and Isaac Hayes. There’s something extremely refreshing about the pair, which are located at the album’s middle and end.

In any case Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” is an incredible album every song is excellent whether or not you’re listening to the album straight-through, so if album cohesion isn’t your thing – go listen to the emotional release that is “Dissolved Girl” or the catchy vocals of “Risingson”, or maybe the lyrical volley of “Group Four” is more your thing. “Mezzanine” is awesome, and you should give it a try.

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