Massive Attack
Protection


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
July 6th, 2005 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


Upon it's release, Protection solidified Massive Attack's position and status as an innovator in the music scene. Different from most electronic music of their time, Massive Attack managed to be intelligent while being warm and understanding, connecting with their audience on a personal level as well as an intellectual one.

Album Credits

Horace Andy - Vocals
Craig Armstrong - Keyboard/Piano
Grant "Daddy G" Marshall - Vocals
Chester Kamen - Guitar
Nicolette - Vocals
Tracy Thorn - Vocals
Rob Merrill - Drums

Building upon the success of Blue Lines, Massive Attack went into the studio for Protection. By bringing new musical ideas to the table, as well as using the achievements of their previous album, Protection was a step up from Blue Lines in terms of focus and direction. While not as diverse as Blue Lines, Protection fits together far better and has, like every Massive Attack album to date, it's own unique sound which hasn't been duplicated on another album. At the time, most of the electronic music that was popular disconnected it's audience emotionally because it was so agressive. A problem with experimental music is that it often forgets that people are actually going to listen to it. Fortunatly, this was (and is) not the case with Massive Attack. On Blue Lines, they were able to have personal lyrics, especially in songs such as "One Love" "Be Thankful For What You've Got". These lyrics were something that everyone could relate to and gave much listener respect to Massive Attack. With the beautiful female vocals, the cool male vocals, the pumping bass lines and the groovable drumming, Massive Attack were winners from the start.

With Protection, Massive Attack moved away slightly from the soul and hip-hop influences that defined their debut. By no means did they remove them, but Protection has them seen much more as influences than something that is actually heard in their music. Protection also includes something new, that wasn't seen on Blue Lines: instrumentals. Excellent instrumentals they are too, not simply filling up space (as a lot of instrumentals do) but making a valuable contribution to the album, as well as competing towards being some of the album's best tracks. Protection opens with it's title track. Being one of the best tracks on the album, this also hints at the direction that the rest of the album took, as well as the way they built upon the sound of Blue Lines. Each song on Protection is memorable as it's own song, no song sounds like another. It is a shame then, that Massive Attack felt the need to fill up space by including an abysmal live cover of the classic Doors track, "Light My Fire". It's puzzling why they did this. Had it not been included, the album would have been closed by the mindblowing "Heat Miser". Had it not been included, the album would still be well over 45 minutes long, a respectable length. Yet it is there and cannot be ignored. "Light My Fire" sticks out like a sore thumb as the only bad track on an otherwise perfect album. Upon it's arrival, Protection solidified Massive Attack's status as a force to be reckoned with in the electronic music scene. And while it does not get much credit these days, being chronologically placed in between two near perfect albums (Blue Lines and Mezzanine), it's importance cannot be underestimated. Even 10 years later, many popular artists (The Streets and Moby being good examples) have stood up and taken notice of Protection.

Pros

Instrumentals
The vocals on the whole album
Quality songwriting

Cons

"Light My Fire"
Not as diverse as Blue Lines
Production could be slightly better

Reccomended Tracks

Protection
Three
Heat Miser

FINAL RATING: 4/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
July 6th 2005


2733 Comments


Ace.

This is the only Massive Attack album I haven't heard any material from..

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 6th 2005


2125 Comments


That seems to be the way for lots of people. 'Tis a shame, it's a great album, better than 100th Window (which still rules).

Iai
Emeritus
July 7th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. Bar a couple of tracks which really let the album down, it's better than Blue Lines.

The vocals on Protection are done by the woman from Everything But The Girl, if anyone cares. They were a post-Smiths indie band before she did that track, then after that they became the dance band that did Missing.

undertakerpt
July 2nd 2006


1374 Comments


hmmm, i always thought the woman on protection was the singer from portishead, oh well, u learn somthing everyday.

Two-Headed Boy
November 12th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my second favorite Massive Attack CD, mostly because the production off of Blue Lines was horrid and 100th Window is way too hard to get into.

Zmev
November 12th 2006


983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great feel, but I still like Blue Lines/Mezzanine more.

beans
July 21st 2009


2332 Comments


this sounds good but blue lines sounds like where its at. i've only heard mezzanine but i loved it.

Cashews
August 19th 2009


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review, tho i've always liked blue lines more than protection.

Titan50
August 19th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only got Blue Lines and Mezzanine, worth getting this?

Cashews
August 19th 2009


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Anything massive attack do is worth getting. Including anything by Tricky

Meatplow
January 30th 2010


5524 Comments


The title track is great, and I love the short ambient pieces on here.

Slipping Away
May 25th 2010


1261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There isn't a massive attack album that I dislike but if I had to choose their weakest one this would be it. Protection is a great opener though.

aok
March 30th 2011


4456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I try to believe what i feel these days
It makes life much easier for me
It's hard to decide what is real these days
When things look so dizzy to me

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsv21Qq3hOc) -- best track on here imo. other than that i tend to agree with Slipping Away

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 18th 2011


3663 Comments


It's a great album to listen to while driving early in the morning

aok
September 18th 2011


4456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's probly their most chill album an its diverse and pretty sweet, but i like their use of tricky a lot more on blue lines

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
December 4th 2011


3663 Comments


Best to listen at 3 am while drinkin a cup of coffee and smokin a cigar

Graveyard
March 29th 2012


5801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had to bump this

Because I can

Digging: Prurient - Bermuda Drain

macadoolahicky
March 29th 2012


1835 Comments


How the fuck does this have only like 18 comments?

KILL
March 29th 2012


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cos it hasnt got teardrop

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Graveyard
March 29th 2012


5801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"How the fuck does this have only like 18 comments?"

Because people don't care and what KILL said



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