Every five or six years comes a comeback. And with every comeback, you can’t help but wonder what Massive Attack have been doing for the last five or six years.
The simple answer is that they’ve probably been living happily off their royalties, which have multiplied since Teardrop got picked up as the theme to all conquering US drama House.
The slightly sarcastic answer is that they certainly haven’t been in the studio working on new ideas.
Heligoland isn’t cut from quite the same cloth as 100th Window, the group’s dismal last album. It’s more muted and less demonstrative. But it sounds, for better but mostly for worse, exactly like Massive Attack.
Heligoland rambles on with ordinary songs coupled to greying arrangements and to vocals from singers (Guy Garvey, Damon Albarn) who often sound as weary as the rest of us.
Relief comes with the almost energetic Atlas Air, but it’s too little and much too late.
Still, at least the next one’s a while away.