[7] Massive Attack, ‘Risingson’

Dense, edgy, sneering, eerie, blank, clammy, creepy, discordant and destructive, ‘Risingson’ has all the ingredients of a top pop tune. It came out quietly in the Summer, took Massive Attack to No.11, their biggest hit at that point, and was all but forgotten by the time of the Mezzanine album a year later. The band themselves remembered its dark hue, but copied it over and over until the album was a bore.

But I’ve moaned about that before.

Junior loves to prick the pomposity, poke fun at the serious. She grinned at ‘Risingson’’s sinister tones, swept all her books off the coffee table and played ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ over the top of it all. The effect was like one of those old children’s music boxes playing in a horror film. Freaked me out; she just stood there laughing.

[6] Massive Attack, ‘Protection’

Postscript: all the dance records that get in the charts these days sound like Spagna’s ‘Call Me’. I don’t know if it’s any better in the clubs, because I’m too old and a dad.

Massive Attack redefined a small area of club music. Blue Lines was the pinnacle, and it still holds up today with ease. Its reputation grew over a few years until the expectation surrounding the Protection album was nigh on unbearable; in the end, they couldn’t take the weight. Tricky was reduced to cameos and Mushroom became estranged, some truly awful tracks got past quality control.

This single was a beauty, affecting, hypnotic, metronomic, with the newly fashionable Tracey Thorn to the fore. Junior was spellbound, only breaking free and demo-ing the new cockateel dance towards the end, so it’s a hit with the infant jury.

What happened next? Mezzanine, was a “dark”, “moody” piece beloved of the tastemakers. Yep, dull. A feature length BMW ad soundtrack. Then there was the unlistenable, po-faced tosh of 100th Window. Either excessive marijuana use has muted the muse, or 3-D without his cohorts is a bore. The new single is ok thanks to Terry Callier’s rich voice, but it’s still melodically uninteresting. It’s all been such a disappointment.