Classic albums A-Z: Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1998)

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Mezzanine is the fourth studio album from Massive Attack. Released in April 1998 having been preceded by the menacing atmosphere of ‘Risingson’ in the autumn of the previous year. Mezzanine went on to become the band’s first number 1 album. Guest vocalists included Horace Andy, newcomer Sara Jay and Elizabeth Frazer of the Cocteau Twins. Mezzanine’s downbeat grooves features samples from ‘The Cure’, ‘Velvet Underground’, ‘Isaac Hayes’ and ‘John Holt’.

Liz Frazer’s vocal talents come to their own on the wondrous ‘Teardrop’ which deservedly reached number 10 in the UK charts in May 1998. ‘Teardrop’ may have been Mezzanine’s best-selling offspring but for me, it’s the building menace of the penultimate track – ‘Group Four’ which propels this album to ‘classic’ status over the preceding three (which I also have). Written by 3D, Daddy G, Mushroom and Elizabeth Frazer and featuring the vocal talents of both 3D and Frazer, this track has all the components needed to make my spine tingle every time – haunting lyrics, deep rolling bass, complex guitar undertones and repeating dub step percussion – building to an expected crescendo like a wave before slipping immediately into a whisper as the wave breaks and calm returns. Group Four is an eight-minute moment to savour!

Full track listing
  1. Angel
  2. Risingson
  3. Teardrop
  4. Inertia Creeps
  5. Exchange
  6. Dissolved Girl
  7. Man next door
  8. Black mik
  9. Mezzanine
  10. Group Four
  11. (Exchange)
Lineup
  • Vocals – Horace Andy, Elizabeth Frazer, Sara Jay, 3D, Daddy G
  • Guitars – Angelo Bruschini
  • Bass guitars – John Harris, Bob Locke, Winston Blissett
  • Drums – Andy Gangadeen
  • Programmers – Neil Davidge & Massive Attack
  • Keyboards – Neil Davidge, Dave Jenkins, Michael Timothy
  • Sampling – Massive Attack
  • Pro Tools – Jan Kybert

 

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