Massive Attack ‘Collected’

Ally Melling

Whether you realize it or not, you have probably heard a Massive Attack song in your lifetime.

Packing 15 years of career-spanning sound, ranging from hints of reggae to pure electronica, Massive Attack has painted the mood for a number of mediums you might recognize without imagining it all came from the same creative minds.

Now, remaining founder Robert Del Naja has gathered one ‘best of’ definition ideal for both the fans and the curious. It is Collected.

Massive Attack


Released on Virgin Records

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Though brief and simple, the album’s title is an appropriate description on many levels. Del Naja (aka “3D”) and Grant Marshall (aka “Daddy G”) have always been considered the group masterminds, contributing with other British groups such as Portishead to birth the modern “trip-hop” sound.

It is, however, the “collected” effort with guest artists that has defined Massive Attack as more of a changing entity than a common band.

Collected starts at the beginning with the female, hip-hop vocals of “Safe From Harm,” the first song from the group’s debut album, Blue Lines. The widely popular “Unfinished Sympathy” and others are also featured within this compilation as tracers of Massive Attack roots.

1998’s Mezzanine was considered by many to be Massive Attack’s best with its dark vibes and larger use of electronics and guitars. The haunting, arousing track “Angel” has been used repeatedly by Hollywood in films like Snatch and Firewall. A voiceless version of “Teardrop” can be heard as the opening theme for the Fox series “House.”

Sinead O’Connor assisted vocally on tracks like “What Your Soul Sings” for 2003’s 100th Window, layering the album’s overly surreal, digital feel that received mixed feedback from listeners.

Collected ends with a new single called “Live With Me,” featuring vocals by legendary soul singer Terry Callier.

Also available is a special edition Collected import containing a bonus disc of rarer tracks, soundtrack songs and a DVD of all Massive Attack music videos.

Sporting a fairly equal selection from all eras, Collected offers a special sound and variety to appease every taste. It is a compilation of evidence that sets Massive Attack apart from others as a group that can evolve artistically but never fail to provide syrupy, seductive songs that will withstand the test of time.

Contact ALL correspondent Ally Melling at [email protected].