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Wild Bunch/Virgin, 2003
It was nearly a six year wait for this album after "Mezzanine", and although "100th Window" is polished and listenable, there's something missing when compared to its predecessors. For a start it's basically Robert Del Naja on his own here, without rappers Daddy G and Mushroom. We have a lot less variety in sound here as well. Although the dark, brooding undercurrent still remains, it feels distant and there's less power. Most of the tracks seem to be based on the same loops of one or two notes. Which admittedly is a good way to do "brooding", but it doesn't hold the attention like "Mezzanine". I also miss the crunching guitars.
Massive Attack still have impeccable taste in female vocalists. This time it's the turn of Sinéad O'Connor, who sings the gorgeous "What Your Soul Sings", "Special Cases" (with its Indian-flavoured strings) and "Prayer for England". I can't imagine anyone else singing "let not another child be slain"! Well, possibly Bono.
October 16, 2003