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Record Rating: ****

Massive Attack - Collected - EMI Massive Attack set the pace for much of the dance music that emerged throughout the 1990s, paving the way for acts like Chicane, French band Air and even recent pop mainstay Frou Frou. While the artists that followed in their wake have reached for lofty heights, these boys from Bristol have remained in the darkened alleys and underground clubs.

Although just four albums might not seem deep enough to warrant a retrospective best of collection, Collected effortlessly reminds one why this band was among the most innovative and influential groups of its generation. The fourteen-track listing features their newest single Live With Me and almost all of their hit singles.

Throughout the nineties, cinema embraced their dark hypnotic sound, giving them cult status; Unfinished Sympathy set the groundwork for a sultry sex scene between Sharon Stone and William Baldwin in the R rated Sliver, while Angel turned up been in five films including the sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix. Early single Safe From Harm makes an appearance here as well, as does the groupís most widely known track Teardrop, which in the day caused a lot of uproar with its music video that featured a singing foetus still in the womb.

With nearly 80 minutes of dub grooves, rumbling bass lines and haunting vocal performances, their dark music proves to be the ultimate soundtrack for these bleak moments of self-introspection. If youíve just discovered the group or are a long time fan, Collected is definitely record to own. And with a new album set to be released next year, we can look forward to more disarmingly airy soundscapes from them in the near future.

Read our other reviews:

Enya - Amarantine       Bonnie Rait - Souls Alike - EMI       Queensryche - The Essential       Chris Brown - Chris Brown      


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