February 18, 2010

 Navigation

   Home Page

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

   Bandmates

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover


Massive Attack, Heligoland
Virgin Records, Feb. 9

Whether or not this is the marquee-name-ruined disaster that Pitchfork’s expecting (it’s not, and will they ever shut up ruining everyone’s good time, so what if Portishead completely rules and Burial hasn’t done his wizzer-keen dubstep remix of this album yet), this British soundsystem does take long vaykays between albums. Their last LP, 100th Window, for cripes sake, came out when a few non-cretins among us were still unsure Iraq was a lie. But it’s been time well spent, if you’ll pardon that bummer of a reviewer cliché, and besides, I’ve only had this thing in my ears for like four listens, so any letter-grade given below has by now probably changed to an A+ (it keeps getting better).

Mezzanine gave us unforgettable songs, including the one even your mom knows (“Teardrop,” the theme from TV’s House), and Heligoland will be unforgettable for different reasons, perhaps the Gnarls-as-Lucifer-like plodder “Splitting the Atom” or the hearing-test-pattern synth of “Flat of the Blade” (pure IDM-for-the-head there, with Guy Garvey mumble-crooning lines that appear to belong on some other joint). 3D is his usual irresistibly Davy Jones-ish self on “Rush Minute,” this outing’s reply to “Inertia Creeps.” Overall, the crew has deepened the creepy-eerie feel of the last two records, dispensed with the chicken-rattle stuff and gone a bit glum (fittingly so, being that they know what time it is; some non sequiturs about the bank bailouts peer out from the murk). AEWS