Heligoland - Massive Attack
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 70 Ratings

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  • Summary: The legendary trip-hop trip, Massive Attack releases its fifth studio album Heligoland featuring an all star cast of guest vocals from Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Guy Garvey and Tunde Adebimpe. The duo also collaborated with DFA's Tim Goldsworthy on selected tracks.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. So while an army of griping fans and sniping critics will argue that Heligoland doesn’t match their early triumphs, or break as much new ground, there will be younger listeners who hear it as something entirely new and recognize it for the gloomily, beguiling beauty it is.
  2. Instead of reintroducing the genre’s founding dub steps and club sensibilities, contributions from Massive Attack’s musical descendants (Blur/Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn, Portishead’s Adrian Utley) lend quieter atmospherics that amplify the emotion of the band’s mainstay whispers.
  3. Returning from a six-year long wilderness of soundtrack work and greatest hits, ‘Heligoland’ sees the duo back at the top of their game.
  4. Yet there's certainly no shame in falling behind three albums that are as brilliant as those are. For the fans, this is a blast - suddenly, trip-hop's Godfathers are back on track.
  5. 65
    The album's dusty beats, pointed electronics, and cinematic feel are pleasantly familiar, at best they recall the band's past glory rather than pushing forward their legacy.
  6. 60
    [The album] sees the reunited Grand "Daddy G" Marshalll abnd Robert "3D" Del Naja proving they can still corner the market in atmospheric glooom, even if their era-defining days have passed. [Mar 2010, p.90]
  7. When you listen to these gloomy trip-hop jams after their best work of the 90s, the results are underwhelming.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Sep 9, 2010
    When works such as this come out, the gradual mental sclerosis of the NME and such comes through more and more each year. The rise fo the indy critic has allowed us to distance ourselves from the noise and negativity of their talk, and particualry their self subtext of them being the ONLY reputed voice (I recall the Guardian critics giving their "definitive veredict" on Glasto and such, zzz... So yes. To me Heligoland is a brilliant album, a return to form after the disperse previous album, an expansion into younger and more international minds and sensibilities. Sometimes one feels listening to a Pina Bausch dance soundtrack, sometimes it's just plain Massive 2010, sometimes it's raw, but above all, it's A DARING PIECE OF WORK. So great to listen to their new ideas, breaking their mold, trying new sonic textures... I definitely feel those "important" writers in the UK really need to go out and see the world, becuase Heligoland has a feeling that really touches the zeitgeist. I suppose the Euro-Adult-centered reviewer or listener will miss out. The rest of the planet could be in awe of the sheer genius and collaborative spirit of this crucial work. Expand
  2. May 21, 2012
    The latest album from the Massive Attack crew is full of good stuff, even if very little of it is as groundbreaking or as impressive as their best work. Some very interesting collaborations, most of which work really well. Alot of the record has a typical Massive Attack sound which in many ways is the only disappointing thing about the record. Damon Albarns appearance on the track "Saturday Come Slow" is the highlight for me - a fantastic track and really lifts the album to another level. Expand
  3. Oct 29, 2013
    Very British. Grey clouds made more beautiful than any Carribean sunrise. Sometimes a bit repetitive, but never less than compelling. ("Paradise Circus"; "Pray for Rain") Expand
  4. Feb 20, 2012
    I understand fully the mediocre reviews, whilst Heligoland is average in consistency and in lack of innovation tracks like 'Paradise Circus', 'Girl I Love You' and arguably 'Saturday Come Slow' stand tall with the tracks of their career. As long as this group continue to make incredible songs they will remain miles above their peers. Expand
  5. Sep 5, 2010
    Boring , depressing music. Even the Damon Albarn and TV on the Radio songs are kind of blah.....Gilr I love you is ok though. I am writing this sentence because I have to make it 150 characters long. Expand