The first real album from trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack since 2003, Heligoland is a beautiful work that departs slightly from what was once the true “Massive Attack sound.” Traces of ‘90s trip-hop can’t help but find their way into these songs, but the music here feels more evolved, its well-lived parts more intricately woven. Guests include TV On the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, and Elbow's Guy Garvey, along with semi-regular Horace Andy, and that lineup alone speaks volumes about the intended tone of the collection. Moving from the lonely cinematic pans of “Pray for Rain,” through the downtempo, Martina Topley-Bird-sung “Babel,” and into the playfully brooding “Splitting the Atom,” Heligoland marries MA’s recent affinity for film- soundtrack work with their own, organically inventive music. As back in the day, bongos, pianos and moody guitar work are present, but somber blasts of brass, stuttering electronics and haunting vintage organs on tracks such as “Rush Minute,” “Girl I Love You,” and “Atlas Air” brands Heligoland as a vehicle for some of their best work ever.

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