Home Read Classic Album Review: Massive Attack | 100th Window

Classic Album Review: Massive Attack | 100th Window

One-man band Robert Del Naja enlists Sinead & Horace Andy for his fourth outing.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Blip-bleep and click-clack. Swish-swoosh and fuzz-buzz. Scritch-scratch and pitter-patter. Yup. It’s a Massive Attack album. Or is it?

100th Window is the fourth full-length of new material from the vetaran U.K. trip-hop outfit — or at least what’s left of it. On their last album, the former trio were down to a duo; here, composer, producer and vocalist Robert Del Naja is the sole original member. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to make too much of a difference. Cuts like Future Proof, Everywhen and Butterfly Caught contain the same sort of waist-deep grooves, sleazy sinistrism, lush synth landscaping, woozy ooze and echo-chamber bliss that have been soothing and seducing the faithful for more than a decade. The vocals of frequent guest Horace Andy add more continuity to the whole affair, while new arrival Sinead O’Connor gets her Björk on with the foggy-breathed ice crystal What Your Soul Sings, the languidly swelling Special Cases and the lumpy Prayer For England. Whether one man can really constitute a proper Attack is still up in the air, but there’s no doubt he emerges victorious.