Record Bulletin

Massive Attack – “Ritual Spirit” EP Review

massive attack ritual spiritMASSIVE ATTACK – Ritual Spirit (Awal EP): A four song sample discernably darker than their previous material, this EP celebrates a return by one of the best trip-hop groups of the 90s and 00s. And it’s also a welcome recollaboration with Tricky, who brings his signature musical manifestation of misery full circle with final track “Take It There,” a spiritual successor to “Paranoid Android”’s downbeat midsection if ever one was composed. The songs follow a familiar format: they start with a deep bass rhythm, grow in intensity as the nonsense lyrics rattle on, crescendo and cathartically release before collapsing in on themselves, all laced with a distinct sound of doom, a theme Del Naja explored on his own briefly and with Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood for a British documentary soundtrack concerning the financial crisis. You wouldn’t guess that from listening to the lyrics, though. Despite great tracks featuring the likes of Young Fathers, who put out one of 2015’s best albums, the words don’t work to achieve any sort of end—they float along merely carrying the anxiety of the beats but none of the content. Regardless, if Ritual Spirit is any indication of what a future full-length might sound like, you’ll hear no complaints from this camp. B PLUS (***)


Thom Yorke & Robert Del Naja – The UK Gold (Soundcloud ’15): B PLUS (***)


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