The Null Device

100th Window

A somewhat iffy review of the new Massive Attack album in the Graun. To be honest, I'd agree with much of it; a lot of the songs go on for too long and yet somehow seem somewhat flat, at least compared to Mezzanine. Though it's not all that bad an effort.
Indeed, on the only occasion when 100th Window props itself up and makes a point, you wish it had stayed supine. A Prayer for England concerns child abduction and murder - an issue virtually ignored by the media in recent years and thus in desperate need of the boost in profile that only a protest song on a chill-out album can deliver. It's certainly difficult to argue with the thesis - infanticide is a bad thing - but a point this facile hardly warrants O'Connor's finger-wagging fire-and-brimstone routine. By the second verse, she is addressing God as "Jah", an affectation that recalls a wackily hatted student reaching for his bong. At this point, one's thoughts do turn to murder, but not quite in the way the song intends.

(Is 100th Window the 18 to Mezzanine's Play? Discuss.)

There are 13 comments on "100th Window":

Posted by: Graham Fri Feb 7 12:14:03 2003

Sounds more like more rote Sinead bashing to me. I mean, they've got freakin' Horace Andy on board.

Posted by: Graham Fri Feb 7 12:31:44 2003

Anyway, it'd be a big ask to follow-up Mezzanine, especially two-thirds of the band have buggered.

But I'm more interested in the Moloko album, anyway.

Posted by: Graham Fri Feb 7 12:32:36 2003

I mean, "especially _when_ two-thirds of the band have buggered _off_ since then". Ahem.

Posted by: Ed Fri Feb 7 17:53:51 2003

Looking back, Massive Attack was like 'The Nineties' AllStars'. They had Tricky, Nicolette, Tracy Thorn, Horace Andy, etc. They say now 'it's just Del Naja', but I must point out that 3D was the big mind behind all that, and he stayed sane enough not to follow Goldie's (his ex graffiti buddy) Big Path of Fame.

So, I haven't heard the 100th Window yet, but I don't doubt old Robert did the right thing. Comparing the Most Influential Person of the 90s (because he really is) with the dull and formulaic Moby is out of order, even though I'd like them to be back in the Blue Lines - Protection years.

Then again, I'm a bit biased, ain't I?

Posted by: acb Sat Feb 8 06:27:20 2003

Saw it in the shops. It's copy-restricted, at least in Australia. There's no way I'm buying it then.

Posted by: alex Sat Feb 8 10:12:43 2003

not sure if it is better or worse than mezzanine which was probably 97's best album. but it definitely is very dense and the songs don't go on for too long at all. i have listened to the album for the past three weeks and i am stzill not tired of them. smalltime shot away is the best song massive attack have ever made. totally thrilling and finishing on an experimental note. somehow 100th window reminds me of joy division. though besides the dark and cold there is also a warm touch especially via the oriental strings. absolutely essential stuff.

Posted by: alex Sat Feb 8 10:14:20 2003

got it wrong. mezzanine was 98.

Posted by: Peter Sat Feb 8 12:56:29 2003

I've had an *ahem* copy of the promo for quite a while and I love it. I think Mezzanine is one of the top '90s albums - I love Massive and Mezzanine is well and truly my fave. And 100th Window continues the gorgeous darkness of that album, and the slightly rocky feel. It's a bit more smooth-sounding - could've been dirtier - but I think the Sinead tracks are just lovely; she suits the sound just fine. As are Horace Andy's. And the songs don't go on for too long at all; no more than, say, the wonderful "Group Four" from Mezzanine. You just have to sink into it. I'll buy the Australian version I s'pose, despite the "copy protection"... Although I guess I'll see whether the UK version has it, but hey, whatever...

Posted by: acb Sat Feb 8 13:26:04 2003

I ask you: don't buy the protected version before checking other markets. If you buy it, you're voting in favour of copy-denial. If, however, Australians start ordering unlocked versions from overseas (or just shunning the title altogether), some EMI exec will notice this, put two and two together and decide that maybe denying paying customers' rights isn't such a good business proposition.

Posted by: Benn Sat Feb 8 23:45:26 2003

Comparing Massive Attack to Moby is shameful. None of Moby's works come close to anything that Massive Attack have released, and in saying this I'm not a huge Massive Attack fan.

Posted by: acb Sun Feb 9 04:02:33 2003

Moby is sort of like Massive Attack, only shite.

Don't get me wrong; Mezzanine is one of my favourite albums. I was posing the question of whether 100th Window is an attempt to draw out the formula of Mezzanine.

Posted by: csmole Sun Feb 9 11:21:18 2003

I'd be interested to buy it, but, indeed, only as a non-copy protected album. Anyway. Mezzanine. It was a good, consistent album, much more consistent than Blue Lines or Protection, but it seemed to lack the 'killer' song to me. Teardrop was pleasant enough, what with the faux white/pink noise in the background, and the Liz Fraser vocals, but it was no Unfinished Sympathy. When it comes down to it, it's not even really a Safe from Harm. Oh, if only Blue Lines were consistently as good as those two songs.

Posted by: Kactus http:// Tue Feb 11 01:27:33 2003

Just bought the protected album. If I'd known it was locked I wouldn't have bothered but the notice is so small I completely skipped over it! Now - too late - thanks EMI, I'll be skeptical next time.