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Massive Attack 100th Window

Back in the 1990s, a new Massive Attack album was an event. Now, the release of 100th Window feels more like a cool cocktail party. A lot has changed: founding member Mushroom is long gone, and the husky-voiced Daddy Gee is on sabbatical, leaving 3D (Robert Del Naja-the white guy) in charge. The result is a dark, brooding sort of record reflecting the current world climate, featuring Sinead O' Connor on three tracks moaning of impending doom, as well as Horace Andy on two, including an especially spooky vocal turn on the driving, muted dub-thunder of "Everywhen"-one of the album's best tracks. But for all its grandeur and mystical Middle Eastern influences, there's something too polished about 100th Window-there's virtually no trace of its hip-hop and soul roots, instead leaning toward a clean electronic production. Good album, yes. Groundbreaking, no.

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