Massive Attack
Splitting the Atom


2.5
average

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
November 17th, 2009 | 11 replies | 6,877 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Are you gonna eat that?

6 of 7 thought this review was well written

Trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack are back with a not so massive attack, a 4-song EP titled Splitting the Atom. Short and pithy, Splitting the Atom is a nice snack, just enough to remind the music community that Massive Attack are still in the kitchen and brewing something, delicious or possibly disastrous. It’s definitely not a full meal, but Splitting the Atom will have trip-hop fans and non-fans alike tongues dripping with anticipation due to the illustrious line-up of Martina Topley-Bird, Guy Garvey (Elbow), and Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio). Unfortunately, Splitting the Atom doesn’t turn out to be nearly as appetizing as it appears.

A dark and brooding opener, “Splitting the Atom” starts things somberly. A low-energy beat and a melancholy atmosphere are only reinforced by reggae veteran Horace Andy and his baritone voice in the chorus. “Splitting the Atom” is a great way to start the meal with its organ drone, even if it is a bit bitter. The next scrumptious little ditty en route is “Pray For Rain.” Tunde Adebimpe adds the vocals here, and the song is definitely a grower. A continuos keyboard and a more upbeat ambience are the main effects here, but Tunde’s vocals certainly add to the experience. Present enough to make himself known, yet subdued enough to let the music do the real speaking, Tunde strikes a fantastic balance. Though, the biggest blemish in this track is very indicative of Splitting the Atom, it leads nowhere. There’s a slight build-up midway, but Massive Attack sound weary and seem to give up on that endeavor.

As for the remixes, little else can be said. Guy Garvey’s vocals on “Pray For Rain” are incredibly uninteresting, and once again the song loses itself and midway and follows the breadcrumb trail back towards boredom. Topley-Bird’s apperance on Splitting the Atom in the form of “Psyche.” She croons over a slow, plodding beat with some beeps that tend to get a bit annoying, “I was set to fall in.”

The cooks don’t attempt a whole lot new on Splitting the Atom. Instead, Massive Attack relies mostly on their tried and true sound. The addition of some stronger percussion and a more metallic sound add a little twist, but the recipe remains largely the same old recipe. A more subtle approach is present, but little else can be determined about Massive Attack’s next LP based on Splitting the Atom. The chefs could have spiced things up a bit with some more exciting options, even a little more variety would have surely tingled palates. There’s some solid ideas here, mostly the collaboration with Tunde on “Pray For Rain,” but they could have taken a much more stimulating approach. Massive Attack sounds very tired and unexcited about the sound they’ve produced over and over. And if they can’t get excited, how do they expect us to?



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user ratings (43)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 17th 2009



6088 Comments


Great job again. pos'd.

SeaAnemone
November 17th 2009



18823 Comments


Sorry for the unnecessary extended metaphor. I was hungry.

Chewie
November 17th 2009



4531 Comments


meh, I just hope the new album is sweet.

Chewie
November 17th 2009



4531 Comments


why the fuck aren't you fags commenting, its god damn Massive Attack

Skyler
November 18th 2009



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Because this EP sucks.

Prophet178
November 18th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's not that bad.

SeaAnemone
December 2nd 2009



18823 Comments


Yeah OK thanks for the neg mr. anonymous.

Geist
December 12th 2009



371 Comments


The album art is a blatant ripoff of UNKLE's War Stories. It's really sad.

Anyhow, nice review. I'm usually not one for extended metaphors, but this one did it for me. Pos'd.

Prophet178
January 10th 2010



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wait wait wait, what are you getting at here?

SeaAnemone
January 10th 2010



18823 Comments


I'm not following, please explain?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2010



30301 Comments


dude..... robert del naja did the artwork for war stories.... robert del naja is massive attack... robert del naja does massive attacks art... do i need to elaborate further? both cd covors are by robert del naja...


Could you draw me a diagram, that confused the shit out of me


Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days



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