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Massive Attack Studio Tracks Ranked Poorly

Only counting stuff from the main 5. Blue Lines, Protection, Mezzanine, 100th Window, and Heligoland because it comes to a NICE LOVELY BEAUTIFUL 50. Obligitory "this is only my opinion" disclaimer.
50Massive Attack
Protection


"Light My Fire"

Half of this song is just the crowd roaring and the other half is an okay cover of The Doors Light My Fire. Easily the hardest to like Massive song.

2/5
49Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Saturday Come Slow"

Massive's most alternative rock song. Actually, I lied. This isn't a Massive Attack song, it's a Blur outtake from their 1997 s/t sessions.

2/5
48Massive Attack
100th Window


"LP4"

Some bland ambient beeping. I imagine 100th's lower score is a result of people being like "why is the 2nd half if Anistar THIS? Well, I refuse to count this as part of Anistar.

2.5/5
47Massive Attack
100th Window


"Everywhen"

Is it just me or is Horace Andy only good on every OTHER Massive Attack release? If they ever do a 6th one, mark my words he'll suck on it. It's like Star Trek movies.

2.5/5
46Massive Attack
100th Window


"Name Taken"

Pretty much the same song as "Everywhen", but with better percussion.

2.5/5
45Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Splitting the Atom"

I hate to accuse people who things, but here we go: you only liked this one because you miss Grant Marshall being on Massive songs. Like a lot of Heligoland, this is some dull shit.

2.5/5
44Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Pray for Rain"

I feel bad for not liking this one because it's trying to be super epic and it does eventually come to some sort of conclusion. I guess? I'm sorry.

2.5/5
43Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Paradise Circus"

As a Mazzy Star fan, I have every right to say the truth: this song is not a good use of Hope Sandoval. It's another slow, pretty string-laced nothing song with a beloved dream pop vocalist, but it's also so uninspired. Like why is this album so much more barren than their other ones?

2.5/5
42Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Psyche"

Is this list just me shitting on Heligoland? Maybe... but I quite like Topley-Bird's performance on here. But that "beat" is just bad. Dizzying and repetitive. What exactly were they even going for with this one?

3/5
41Massive Attack
Protection


"Spying Glass"

I like the lyrics and vocals, but the rest of this is forgettable as hell. I swear they didn't know what to do with poor Andy on this record, but at least he's giving his all.

3/5
40Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Flat of the Blade"

This is like the opposite of "Psyche," where the music is great, but the vocals are whatever. Like some deeper voiced Thom Yorke typ vocalist or something. Thank god they didn't get Thom Yorke on this, then it'd get worshiped like Paradise Circus. Or maybe it'd be better?

3/5
39Massive Attack
100th Window


"Antistar"

Now we're getting into songs I have mostly good things to say about. This is intense as hell. I like how more intstruments are added over time. Strings, piano, that buzzing sound. Good closer, but I'm a huge 100th Window defender so I believe this album has better.

3.5/5
38Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Five Man Army"

I like this one for sure, but also it's a little crowded vocally for how minimal it is musically? Still, all of the vocalists are cool on it. Maybe some more music to back it up? Blue Lines rules, but something had to be my least favorite.

3.5/5
37Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"One Love"

I mean this is a fun one and a good introduction to Mr. Andy, but also that brass sample kinda steals the show here. I guess I like the top 36 more.

4/5
36Massive Attack
Protection


"Heat Miser"

What should've been Protection's actual closer. A chill piano exit from their loungiest album probably. Not much to say about this one, but it's good.

4/5
35Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Rush Minute"

Honestly, this one is also pretty alternative rock, but at least if they're gonna do that an actual Massive member is singing. And it's not just a love song. AND AND AND it ends up somewhere interesting. Good enough for me, thanks.

4/5
34Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Exchange"

The worst song on Mezzanine is an instrumental and it's one with a vocal version later on the album. And it's still a 4. I don't know what else to say Mezzanine is a 5/5 album.

4/5
33Massive Attack
Protection


"Eurochild"

I don't know what to say about Protection. In many ways, it feels like a lesser Blue Lines and this track feels like it's trying to be a follow-up to songs like "Blue Lines" and "Daydreaming." Maybe it lacks identity. It's surprisingly great in spite of that.

4/5
32Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Mezzanine"

Why does it seem like this song was definitely written after the album was named? Some research made me learn this was the last song on the album to be finished during the mixing process. It kind of shows? Still good though.

4/5
31Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Atlas Air"

Now THIS song is frustrating, but also fantastic? One of the few songs on Heligoland where it's interesting from start to finish, but also as a closing track it makes no sense. The way it ends is very anti-climatic and leaves you wanting more...from an album that for the most part left me wanting less? If only the whole album had these cool beep boops. Heligoland could've been a good 4 song EP...maybe this should've been the opener???????

4/5
30Massive Attack
Protection


"Three"

This is a cool one. Easily the least memorable of the 4 sultry female-led songs on Protection, but it's still super cool. It ends in a weird transitionary way, so I can't put it too high.

4/5
29Massive Attack
100th Window


"Future Proof"

Speaking of openers, this is a neat one. I know a lot of people don't love 3Ds nasal voice and see it as one of Massive's weaker elements, but with how frigid and futuristic 100th Window sounds, it fits like a glove. Creepy and foreboding and tone setting.

4/5
28Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Girl I Love You"

Horace Andy does well on the one song that focuses on him. The brassy ending is fantastic, the vocal peak is fun, the bass roars. Yup.

4/5
27Massive Attack
100th Window


"Special Cases"

Sinead O'Connor was the perfect guest vocalist for an album with thematic political lyrics. She might honestly the best part of 100th Window. I feel like so much of this album belongs in a spy thriller. Like this is somehow her worst of the 3.

4/5
26Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Man Next Door"

Do you think Led Zeppelin knew "When the Levee Breaks" was going to be an important drum sample? Jokes aside, this is a good cover. Nothing much else to say, it’s simple I suppose.

4/5
25Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Risingson"

Now we're getting to the meat of this list. Grant Marshall is a force to be reckoned with and 3D sounds slick and confident. Massive is a great band, so don't yell at me for putting this too low.

4.5/5
24Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Hymn of the Big Wheel"

So why isn't Horace Andy considered an actual member of Massive Attack? He's been allowed to close 2 of their albums and is on all 5. Regardless... good percussion, good wrapping it all up tone.

4.5/5
23Massive Attack
Protection


"Sly"

Protection might be their "sexiest" album? Nicolette is at least their sultriest-sounding singer. In a great way that is.

4.5/5
22Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Blue Lines"

Chill rapping that comes in as slickly as it fades out...Tricky and 3D trading lines.

4.5/5
21Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Safe from Harm"

It's hard to explain, but this is my least favorite Shara Nelson contribution, and it's amazing. Bass, drums, keys. Strong "make a big opening bang" vibes.

4.5/5
20Massive Attack
Protection


"Karmacoma"

This might be the most popular Protection song and while I understand why (I mean Tricky is cool as hell on this one,) I definitely prefer a few others to it. Very reggae.

4.5/5
19Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Black Milk"

Of course all Liz Fraser songs are going to belong in the top 20, but I GUESS this is my least favorite of the 3? There's an odd warmth to this album and this might feel the warmest. It's getting harder to say why songs are where they are on the ranking, since at this point they all rule.

4.5/5
18Massive Attack
100th Window


"Butterfly Caught"

Don't make me fave to justify why this one's awesome. Just listen to that beat. Yeah, 3D sounds like a weird robot, but so what? It's the cold political future album. It's like a spooky sci-fi chase scene.

4.5/5
17Massive Attack
Heligoland


"Babel"

At least Heliogland has 1 song I absolutely adore. Topley-Bird was a pretty good choice for the album, so it's weird how underutilized she feels through it (apparently the 2 main outtakes were both her on leads too, so she was probably meant to be on it more.) If the entire album had this buzzy active texture to it instead of that ambient slow one, I'd probably like the album a lot. "Babel" sticks out like a sore thumb. A good sore thumb.

5/5
16Massive Attack
100th Window


"Small Time Shot Away"

I just really like the melody of this one and that weird vocal manipulation. Fuck it, this one's a masterpiece! 8-minutes, but it feels like 3.

5/5
15Massive Attack
Protection


"Weather Storm"

Kind of reminds me of PS2 loading music, but it's really great? I want to host a fancy dinner party with this on the soundtrack. That piano y'know?

5/5
14Massive Attack
100th Window


"A Prayer for England"

A truly emotional delivery. O'Connor definitely is someone of strong convictions and I'd rip up a picture of the pope too honestly. Or whatever she did that made dumb conservatives angry. Sorrowful, dark, but also beautiful.

5/5
13Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"(Exchange)"

A reprise that adds lyrics. It's so floaty and charming...what a way to end such a strong album. Swirling, spacey, and one of my favorite Andy-led songs.

5/5
12Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Daydreaming"

This is like Blue Lines' t/t but with Shara on it and a ton of fun references. Everyone on this album oozes cool and this is the epitome of that.

5/5
11Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Lately"

I once said that this was my favorite song on Blue Lines and it prompted Zakalwe to be like "the one that goes blimp blomp boomp is 'triffic. Great song. Shits on sympathy. You bellends make me sick" I deserve a medal for eliciting that response. But honestly, the one that goes blimp blomp boomp IS in fact 'triffic. Shara tone on it is gorgeous and the turntables are super neat. Like what's not to adore here?

5/5
10Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Group Four"

Creepy, cool,epic, sultry, Elizabeth Fraser -this has all of Massive's best elements. This one could probably get away with being 15 minutes and still be an instant classic.

5/5
9Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Unfinished Sympathy"

I do concede that this IS better than "Lately" though nowadays. The lead jingly sound and Shara's belting are impressive, unique, and catchy. I get why this is probably their most famous song.

5/5
8Massive Attack
100th Window


"What Your Soul Sings"

I'm sorry 100th window naysayers, but do you really not love this one? It's got a pretty atmosphere, comforting vocals, cool drums, flickering! THE FLICKERING GUYS. Self-introspection is difficult, learn to love yourself, even if it's difficult.

5/5
7Massive Attack
Protection


"Better Things"

"You say the spark's gone, well get an electrician." That line always makes me laugh. Good "fuck you" breakup lyrics. I like the drums a lot too. What's to hate about this one right?

5/5
6Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Teardrop"

Elizabeth Fraser's best moments are with her main band The Cocteau Twins, but I'm still very glad she lent her talents to Massive. She sounds oddly otherworldly here. Like her vocals are not human? It's hard to explain, but that might be a big reason why I prefer it to "Black Milk" and "Group Four." Like she's transcended singing here or something.

5/5
5Massive Attack
Protection


"Protection"

As an album, Protection is honestly all over the place, but when it's good it's fantastic. These are some real devotional lyrics. Apparently, vocalist Tracy Thorn wrote them (and the ones to Better Things,) so I have to say she's maybe one of the group's strongest lyricists. I wonder what it would've been like if she stayed with them. And yeah the piano and synths are top-notch here too.

5/5
4Massive Attack
Blue Lines


"Be Thankful for What You've Got"

It feels REALLY weird putting a cover in the top 5. It's even weirder claiming it's the best song on Blue Lines, but I listen to this song SO MUCH more than most Massive songs that I'd be lying to say it's not one of their best. I love the turntables, the organ, the lyrics, the vocals, the bass. Every element of the rendition is like ear candy.

5/5
3Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Dissolved Girl"

Who are you Sarah Jay Hawley and why are you the best guest vocalist ever? She is exactly what this genre needs. A little rasp, a little sultry, very passionate. But passion's overrated anyway right? That's what she sings. I get lost in this one. AND WOW that middle part where it just gets heavy. Yup top 3 easily.

5/5
2Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Inertia Creeps"

Best drums, best 3D delivery, coolest lyrics? The drums though I can't get enough of them. This one feels particularly loud and attention-grabbing and well it worked haha.

5/5
1Massive Attack
Mezzanine


"Angel"

My least favorite Massive Attack song is sung by Horace Andy to end Protection. My favorite Massive Attack song is sung by Horace Andy to open Mezzanine. That means if I listened to all 5 in order back to back, these two would be side by side. Weird right? Ominous intro percussion, slow spooky warm vocals from Andy, and then a huge payoff from all of the built-up tension. Maybe it's a boring choice for favorite, but hey sometimes cliches are justified.

5/5
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