Heligoland

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Feb 9, 2010
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. The music is strikingly less dense than before, though the production is as meticulous and measured as ever, but it’s also so deliberately bleak, so obvious in its intent to be capital-I Important, it all but dares you to turn your back and chuckle.
  2. The undercurrent of menace and sadness that defined Massive Attack's best music is largely absent, replaced with a drowsy, half-formed gloom that, if anything, suggests resignation instead of dread.
  3. Q Magazine
    60
    Compared to the radical thrill of Portishead's equally long-gestated "Third," there's a sense Del Naja and Marshall are still feeling their way back. [Mar 2010, p.99]
  4. Mojo
    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]
  5. Although much of Heligoland suggests that Massive Attack might finally have burned out, the glowing embers of what they once had can still be glimpsed providing a light in the dark.
  6. Under The Radar
    50
    [These marquee name guests] might be the source to what is wrong with Heglioland. Usually, Massive mainstays, 3D and Daddy G, are able to bring somthing previously not experienced out of their collaborators. This time, nothing is connecting. [Winter 2010, p.69]
  7. Overall, though ‘Heligoland’ is a puzzling and frustrating listen. Some good tracks can’t hide the fact that this is the stuff of an identity crisis. It’s one thing to call on your famous friends to put flesh on your bones. It’s another if you leave the listener wondering if you’ve any spine at all.
  8. When you listen to these gloomy trip-hop jams after their best work of the 90s, the results are underwhelming.
  9. Sure, it's a logical progression from 100th Window, but because their progressions are neither commonsense nor predictable, it's difficult to predict how it will hold up in terms of posterity.
  10. Fans who have spent the better part of a decade jonesing for exactly this kind of fix will surely appreciate the effort, but for the less dependent, the songs here offer little that the band hasn't already done better.
  11. With personnel changes and a series of guest artists the names of which ever-increasingly overshadow whatever actual sounds they're making, Massive Attack have fought a continual struggle to surpass 1994's 'Protection'.
  12. Then, six songs into a characterless album, one on which ambience takes precedence over tunes, 3D and Daddy G unveil three stunning numbers that compare with anything in their back catalogue.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Sep 9, 2010
    10
    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 indyWhen 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. Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    8
    Very British. Grey clouds made more beautiful than any Carribean sunrise. Sometimes a bit repetitive, but never less than compelling.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") Full Review »
  3. May 21, 2012
    8
    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 theirThe 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. Full Review »