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''100th Window'' is the fourth studio album from the Bristol-based trip-hop group Massive Attack. Of the band's original core trio, the album only features Robert Del Naja. Andrew Vowles departed shortly after the release of ''Mezzanine'', and Grant Marshall refused to participate in the making of the record.
Released in February 2003, ''100th Window'' was written and produced by Del Naja and Neil Davidge, and features vocals from Horace Andy and Sinéad O'Connor, as well as an imperceptible appearance by Damon Albarn. It is the first album by the band that made no use of samples, and contains none of the jazz or jazz fusion stylings of the band's earlier recordings. - WikipediaForget about inventing trip-hop; Massive Attack's greatest achievementis its ability to continually reinvent itself. Of course, this takes time. Theoft-changing collective's fourth album, 100th Window, comes fiveyears after its last, Mezzanine, and still offers a fresh version ofthe slow-burning, heavy-lidded music Massive Attack pioneered at the start ofthe 1990s. Back then, the mysterious crew of DJs, producers, stoned and slurringrappers, and artistically inclined hangers-on contributed to the aura emanatingout of the English port town of Bristol, but a decade-plus later and Massiveis essentially just 3D and assorted guests. (Daddy Gee sat out recording butis reportedly still in the band, and Horace Andy sings on two tracks.)
So does 100th Window provide mere shadows where its predecessors enshroudedlisteners in a blissful fog? Not at all. The songs swoop and linger, dippinginto sociopolitical commentary and pivoting off bass-generated and electronicgrooves that assert the group's place on the fringes of dance culture.Past albums brought chanteuses both unknown and popular-including TraceyThorn and Cocteau Twin Liz Fraser-but this featured vocalist is a shock:Sin'Connor. The Irish singer refines her flashy style on twoof the disc's best tracks, the circular, string-drenched lead single "SpecialCases" and the emotionally charged, musically expansive "A Prayerfor England." Her brogue is the perfect foil for 3D's monotone, anatural alternative to his synthetically altered whispers on songs like the8-minute "Small Time Shot Away." This and other tracks aren'tin any hurry to get where they're going, and in a perfect metaphor forMassive Attack itself, they always arrive somewhere unexpected and wonderful.