Review: By the time they headed into the studio to record Protection, Massive Attack were still riding high on the success of their peerless debut album, Blue Lines. While the resultant set, released in 1994, does quite hit the same dizzying heights, it remains a thoroughly great album. Of course, we all know the highlights by heart - the stoned bounce of "Karmacoma", evocative downtempo bliss of Tracey Thorn hook-up "Protection", string-drenched lusciousness of "Sly", and the gentle dub-house soul of the Horace Andy-voiced "Spying Glass", for example - but even the forgotten album cuts (see "Weather Storm" and "Better Things") have aged remarkably well. If you don't own a copy on vinyl already, you definitely should.
Review: The Chemical Brothers are back with their 10th studio album (mixes and soundtracks not withstanding), and they're sounding especially fired up. The widescreen stadium psychedelia they've made their own spills out in abundance across "No Geography", but it's also matched with a feverish energy. The more up-tempo tracks, like "Gravity Drops" and "Eve Of Destruction", spit and snarl with the best of their classic, down and dirty dancefloor material, but there's plenty of space for the starry eyed songwriting they've made their own in more recent times. Just cop "The Universe Sent Me" and be immediately transported to a festival field, where you'll no doubt be catching The Bro's this summer.
Review: There's a reason that Massive Attack's Blue Lines frequently appears in "greatest albums" lists. To put it simply, it's brilliant, and arguably remains the Bristol-based outfit's finest work to date (though some would argue that the dark and paranoid Mezzanine is possibly better). As this weighty vinyl reissue proves, it's lost none of its hazy, dub-propelled trip-hop charm. All-time classics such as "Unfinished Sympathy", "Safe From Harm" and "Hymn of the Big Wheel" have lost none of their soulful, mood-enhancing brilliance, while lesser celebrated cuts such as "Five Man Army" and "Lately" still sound great despite their vintage.