Massive Attack's debut album launched the so called "trip-hop" genre - a smooth, mellow mix of subtle beats, soulful songs and laid back rap. The most successful tracks are those combining slinky melodies with splashes of rap, such as the brooding "Safe from Harm". The magnificent "Unfinished Sympathy" is a deserved classic - an achingly erotic song of frustration to a beautiful but restrained string backing. These two are sung to perfection by Shara Nelson. Other vocalists include the reggae singer Horace Andy, with his distinctive throbbing, breathy voice, and their Bristol neighbour the rapper and producer Tricky. Other strong songs deserving of mention are "Be Thankful For What You Got" and "Hymn of the Big Wheel". Although my attention does drift in the pure hip-hop numbers such as the title track and "Five Man Army". The shouts of "Massive!" do sound cheesy and dated after a while.
August 15, 2003