Since its start in the late Eighties, Massive Attack has been a leading force in electronic music and DJ culture. Even if you don’t know the band by name, chances are you’ve heard one of its oft-licensed songs. When a commercial, movie or TV show needs some down-tempo trip-hop with an icy chill, Massive Attack is the go-to act.
“Collected,” a best-of compilation spanning all four studio albums, shows why. All of Massive Attack’s “hits” (they’ve never had much sales impact on this side of the globe) are here, including “Karmacoma,” “Angel” and the unsettling “Unfinished Sympathy.” The act often utilizes guest vocalists, which has resulted in some its finest singles, including “Angel” with Cocteau Twins chanteuse Liz Fraser and the sublime “Protection,” which sports the soothing pipes of Everything but the Girl’s Tracey Thorn and may be its most upbeat song yet.
Another thing “Collected” demonstrates: how similar many Massive Attack songs are. A little goes a long way “¦ but with drum machines.
- Rod Lott