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Massive Attack
Collected: the Best Of Massive Attack
Virgin Records/ EMI

There is no doubt in my mind that Massive Attack is the finest of all trip-hop bands… ever. In fact, they might be the greatest band to ever grace a soundtrack - and rightly so. Their smooth grooves and musical ingenuity are unequalled. Keyboards sounding so otherworldly that it never even occurs to the listener that they are synthetic. Drums so well recorded and looped that it would seem the finest drummer in the world was brought in for the sessions. Vocals so crisp and clean that they shine out from the music, while being mixed so perfectly that they don't stand out at all, simply becoming part of the perfection that is the songs. Guest vocalists chosen to highlight a song's essence, always enhancing the sound, never detracting. This is sheer sonic perfection.

Disc one of Collected is filled with the finest tracks from the groups years together. "Karmacoma" represents the early years where Tricky joined Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall to begin their musical conquest. "Teardrop" is so recognizable as a soundtrack song, yet over the years and its many uses, it never ceases to be amazing. "Protection" remains one of the greatest slow-down songs of all time, with its bright guitars and shuffling rhythm. The band gets nearly industrial on "Butterfly Caught", then pops it all back up for "Unfinished Sympathy" before getting down with Sinead O'Connor on the incredible "What Your Soul Sings". The disc ends with a new track, the incredibly soulful, still trippy "Live With Me".

The real gems of Collected are found on the dual-disc second disc. On the CD side, there are a few tracks that I've never heard along with some rarities brought together here in a great package. There are a handful of brand new tracks, as well as some great remixes of older favorites - the incredible "Black Melt" featuring vocals by Elizabeth Fraser, "I Against" features the indomitable Mos Def, and the band's collaboration with Madonna, "I Want You". On the flipside of the dual disc is a DVD featuring all of the bands videos to date, including "Live With Me", as well as some previously unavailable live footage.

For those who are hip to the trip-hop tip, this collection is required. For those who have limited exposure to Massive Attack, Collected is a great way to start exploring the band's catalog. For those who simply enjoy listening to the finest chill out music in the world, there is no better compendium. A few listens will have you out buying more Massive Attack… and then on to Thievery Corporation and others.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
Disc 1
1. Safe From Harm
2. Karmacoma
3. Angel
4. Teardrop
5. Inertia Creeps
6. Protection
7. Butterfly Caught
8. Unfinished Sympathy
9. Risingson
10. What Your Soul Sings
11. Future Proof
12. Five Man Army
13. Sly
14. Live With Me

Disc 2
1. False Flags
2. Incantations
3. Silent Spring
4. Bullet Boy
5. Black Melt
6. Joy Luck Club
7. Small Time Shoot 'Em Up
8. I Against I
9. I Want You
10. Danny The Dog

1. Daydreaming - Baillie Walsh
2. Unfinished Sympathy - Baillie Walsh
3. Safe From Harm - Baillie Walsh
4. Be Thankful For What You've Got - Baillie Walsh
5. Sly - Stefan Sednaoui
6. Protection - Michel Gondry
7. Karmacoma - Jonathon Glazer
8. Risingson - Walter Stern
9. Teadrop - Walter Stern
10. Angel - Walter Stern
11. Interia Creeps - Wiz
12. Special Cases - H5
13. Butterfly Caught - Daniel Levi
14. Live Wit n Glazer
15. Live With Me (Terry Version) - Jonathon Glazer
16. False Flags

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