In a bid for independence and a misguided attempt to establish myself as a singular and bold individual, my 11-year-old self stated that I didn’t much care for Massive Attack after my (cooler than most) dad put Blue Lines in the tape machine of the car and asked if I liked it. The truth was I loved it—the sonorous vocals of Shara Nelson against the trippy, dubby electro beats on outstanding tracks like ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ and ‘Safe From Harm’ made me excited about music, proper grown-up music, for the first time in my life.
This love for them continued and grew with their 1994 release, Protection. The darker, more intense sound of Mezzanine saw me through my late teens but like most love affairs, my Massive Attack romance waned a little and when they released 100th Window, I hardly noticed. So it was with fond recognition that I read the news that Robert ‘3D’ del Naja and Grant ‘Daddy G’ Marshall had released their fifth studio album, Heligoland. Tracks like the brooding ‘Splitting the Atom’ and ‘Paradise Circus’ suggest that they’re still doing things their peers just aren’t. Sadly though, nothing will compare to that initial excitement of the first car journey with just my dad and Blue Lines for company.