Seeing a recent television spot for the film Watchmen, released this past Friday, reminded me of why I started listening to Massive Attack. Although pigeonholed by the media in the mid-1990s as trip hop, they more accurately embody a fusion of jazz, hip hop, rock, soul and electronic elements, generally transcending convenient labels.
Massive Attack has a knack for turning up in all forms of popular media. One of their stand out tracks, "Teardrop" (sung by Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of the Cocteau Twins), was adopted as the theme to the television medical drama House, M.D.
For the uninitiated I would recommend the album "Protection". Tricky's vocals are a mainstay but the stunning title track is sung by Tracey Thorne, formerly of Everything But The Girl.
The band is working on a new collection of songs, formerly carrying the working title "Weather Underground" and now being referred to unofficially as LP5 (as it will be their fifth studio recording, the latest since 2003's "100th Window"). Despite announcing last summer that it would be released in February 2009, it is now being touted for release in the third quarter of 2009. Artists rumoured to be contributing vocals include Dot Allison, Horace Andy and Hope Sandoval as well as Mos Def, Damon Albarn, Patti Smith and Tom Waits. It has also been indicated that the upcoming recording will be a double album.