Wetting the Palate
With recorded work responsible for many acclaimed artists that followed (Portishead, Tricky, Beth Orton, etc.), Massive Attackâ€šÃ„Ã´s legendary status is undeniable. For those seeking further proof, Collected is a perfect start. While documenting most of their best material, plus the unreleased â€šÃ„ÃºLive With Me,â€šÃ„Ã¹ this compilation will leave newcomers in a fever for more. The prescription: the albums.Massive Attack have made some of the darkest music this side of Nick Cave as immediately evidenced in â€šÃ„ÃºSafe From Harm,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the opening scorcher from their mind-blowing debut, Blue Lines. With lyrics like â€šÃ„ÃºIf you hurt whatâ€šÃ„Ã´s mine / Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ll sure as hell retaliateâ€šÃ„Ã¹ nestled in a spiraling bass groove, a force to be reckoned with is revealed. â€šÃ„ÃºKarmacomaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ shifts the vibe from blaxploitation to reggae-injected carnival music featuring Tricky on the microphone. Moving further into the dark side is â€šÃ„ÃºAngel,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a delicate but intense loverâ€šÃ„Ã´s lament scored by an emotional earthquake. â€šÃ„ÃºTeardropâ€šÃ„Ã¹ strips away the dreaminess that normally surrounds the Cocteau Twinsâ€šÃ„Ã´ Elizabeth Fraser with amazing results.
Collected bursts at the seams with great moments such as the thunderous â€šÃ„ÃºRisingson,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the brooding â€šÃ„ÃºSly,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºFive Man Armyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ featuring members 3D and Daddy G trading raps with Tricky. Of course, Massive Attack doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t forget their two most enduring songs, â€šÃ„ÃºProtectionâ€šÃ„Ã¹ (sung by Everything But the Girlâ€šÃ„Ã´s Tracey Thorn) and â€šÃ„ÃºUnfinished Sympathyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ featuring Shara Nelson showing off Aretha Franklin-like vocal talent.
Massive Attack fans may have complaints about the omissions of â€šÃ„ÃºBlue Lines,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºSpying Glass,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºHymn of the Big Wheel,â€šÃ„Ã¹ as well as any of the fine Mad Professor collaborations from No Protection. However, this compilation is definitely for explorers who, after listening, will go searching for whateverâ€šÃ„Ã´s missing. Thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the true purpose of retrospectives.