Heligoland - Massive Attack


From Massive Attack’s My Space page, “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing slowly”. It’s an apt quote applied to one of popular music’s most OCD duos since Steely Dan’s Fagen and Becker. It’s been seven years since the last full length from the Bristol experimentalists, Robert “3D” Del Naga and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall. But clearly, the time wasn’t wasted on the pristine audio perfection that is Heligoland. As much as they bristle at the term, Massive Attack are fathers of trip-hop, alongside bands like Portishead, shaping a sonic profile that’s down tempo, dubby, chilled and positively cinematic. It’s little wonder that both individually and as Massive Attack, the duo have scored several movies and contributed one of their most accessible compositions, Teardrop as the theme for television’s House with Hugh Laurie. On Heligoland (a small German archipelago on the North Sea), Daddy G and 3D continue their long established practice of inviting guest singers to give voice to their compositions. Returning this time around is Horace Andy. Often the MA collaborator, he has one of the most distinctive deliveries in roots reggae or any other style for that matter. His vibrato blessings float through Massive Attack’s spacious symphonics on Girl I Love You. Hope Sandoval’s wispy pearls fall like tears on the album’s most compelling number, Paradise Circus, which also sets up an achingly gorgeous video. Heligoland is the proverbial velvet hammer.