Somewhere during the seven year gestation period for their new LP Massive Attack premiered a song called „Harpiscord“ live. I want you to remember that title: „Harpiscord“. Because I’m listening to Massive Attack's new LP right now – after seven years – and I can tell you: there is no such song on it. Instead there’s „Paradise Circus“ which is fundamentally the same song, they just couldn’t call it „Harpiscord“ anymore because there’s no harpiscord in it. There’s no Twin Peaks atmospherics either, like there used to be. So what does it sound like then? It sounds like a song called „Piano and Handclaps“.
This is just one example of Massive Attack’s new sound – piano and candclaps. If you want to re-create Massive Attack’s new sound in the comfort of your own home all you need to do is:
1. walk over to your piano
2. punch in a Readioheadish minor key
3. clap your hands and mumble over the resulting sound in a world-weary fashion
4. when you're done mumbling start shaking something that makes rattling sounds.
There is an alternative interpretation to Massive Attack's new sound. Some critics are calling it a lighter MA, an airy composition with TV on the Radio’s guitars and a slight world-music bend. I admit, on a very good day that could be said about it. But today is not a very good day because today is the lazy-ass day I’m listening to Massive Attack’s „Heligoland“, seven years in the making, and it sounds lazy, lazy, lazy...
What exactly where you guys doing with your Nineties Trip-Hop Demigod status and your billion dollar studio for the last seven years? Recording Damon Albarn over some strings and Making that guy from Elbow sound like a Thom Yorke clone, I hear you say. Are you sure, because to me it sounds like 3D and Daddy G got back together to smoke pot. That’s what you were really doing, right? Criticizing the government and smoking pot for seven years.
Man, this is so underwhelming and lazy... I just became lazier just listening to it. I could have told you about how „Pray for Rain“ features Tunde Adebimpe and is thus a dubious album opener since it’s TV on the Radio opening for a Massive Attack album. (Which is a pity, since it’s one of the few great tracks on the album – it’s just not an opener.) And I was going to tell our readers about „Splitting the Atom's“ verse-exchanging dynamic and how it’s a real grower and makes you nostalgic for Blue Lines’„Five Man Army“.
But sorry, I’m not going to, I'm way too lazy. I’m gonna go and smoke myself some pot the next seven years.
Which could have been as high as a seven. If I would have mustered the strength and conviction to listen to it more. Which I didn't because I'm feeling a bit woozy, you see.
Hey, and look! Even the dude on the album cover looks likes the laziest dude on Earth, too lazy to even wipe off the blackface make-up his stoner friends gave him the night before. When he was stoned.
PS Don't even bother commenting on this article. Commenting on ZA/UM is laborious and uninteresting, a time-consuming activity better left for others.