Let’s give you all a quadruple-feature today. [Introducing: Collapsible Lyrics!]

Four extraordinary songs from two albums by an extraordinary band. In honour of them releasing something really cool today.

I’m going back to flood you with some Trip-Hop/downtempo music of the highest calibre. And also four songs you should really know, if you don’t already. They are perfect introductory pieces into the wider field of Trip-Hop. We’re heading towards 1991 and 1998 today. The UK. And listening to some Massive Attack.

Massive Attack – Safe From Harm [Blue Lines] | 1991 | Trip-Hop

[expand title=”Lyrics provided by Shara Nelson and 3d”][Shara Nelson]

Midnight ronkers
City slickers
Gunmen and maniacs
All will feature on the freakshow
And I can’t do nothing ’bout that, no
But if you hurt what’s mine
I’ll sure as hell retaliate

You can free the world you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby’s safe from harm tonight

You can free the world you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby’s safe from harm tonight

[3d]

I was lookin’ back to see if you were lookin’ back at me
To see me lookin’ back at you

[Shara Nelson]

Lucky dippers
Crazy chancers
Seems to be moving fast
What happened to the nicities
Of my childhood days
Well i can’t do nothing ’bout that, no
But if you hurt what’s mine
I’ll sure as hell retaliate

[3d]

I was lookin’ back to see if you were
I was lookin I was
I was lookin’ back to see if you were lookin’ back at me
To see me lookin’ back at you

[Shara Nelson]

You can free the world you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby’s safe from harm tonight

You can free the world you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby’s safe from harm tonight

[3d]

Tell us what it is dangerous
Friends and enemies I find it’s contagerous
And they’re spreading through your system like a virus
Yes the trouble in the end it makes you anxious

I was lookin’ back to see if you were lookin back at me
To see me lookin back at you

I was lookin’ back to see if you were lookin back at me
To see me lookin back at you

[Shara Nelson]

But if you hurt what’s mine
I’ll sure as hell retaliate
You can free the world you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby’s safe from harm tonight [x2] [/expand]


The raps on this song are sooooo nice. Tight, even. And still… They add to the downtempo atmosphere. Shiveringly good!

Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy [Blue Lines] | 1991 | Trip-Hop

[expand title=”Lyrics sung by Shara Nelson”]I know that I’ve been mad in love before
And how it could be with you
Really hurt me baby, really cut me baby
How can you have a day without a night
You’re the book that I have opened
And now I’ve got to know much more

The curiousness of your potential kiss
Has got my mind and body aching
Really hurt me baby, really cut me baby
How can you have a day without a night
You’re the book that I have opened
And now I’ve got to know much more

Like a soul without a mind
In a body without a heart
I’m missing every part
[x5] [/expand]


Both songs from Blue Lines are something fiercely new for their time. They were Trip-Hop, before there was Trip-Hop. And I’d like to break out a quote by Evan Marshall from 2004: “[…] but what we were trying to do was create dance music for the head, rather than the feet.” – I think it’s safe to say that they succeeded. Those songs pull you into their worlds and create whole new spaces in your minds, if you let them in.

They combine beautiful vocals with a new blend of electronic music and arrangement. This kind of trippy, downtempo sound was really fresh and new at the time. The texture of their songs is unbelievably rich. Again, they are songs from TWENTY YEARS ago that still manage to sound fresh and new and current. There are songs from 2006 that don’t manage this.

Massive Attack – Teardrop [Mezzanine] | 1998 | Trip-Hop

[expand title=”Lyrics – Sung by Liz Fraser”]Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word
Fearless on my breath
Gentle impulsion
Shakes me, makes me lighter
Fearless on my breath

Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath

Nine night of matter
Black flowers blossom
Fearless on my breath
Black flowers blossom
Fearless on my breath

Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my…

Water is my eye
Most faithful mirror
Fearless on my breath
Teardrop on the fire
Of a confession
Fearless on my breath
Most faithful mirror
Fearless on my breath

Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath

You’re stumbling a little
You’re stumbling a little [/expand]


[Yes, you do know it from House. And yes, I do hope you knew it before then, too! If not, I might to become cross with you! And not just because Miss Fraser lent her voice to this great track.]

Massive Attack – Dissolved Girl [Mezzanine] | 1998 | Trip-Hop

[expand title=”Lyrics – Sung by Sarah Jay Hawley”]Shame, such a shame
I think I kind of lost myself again
Day, yesterday
Really should be leaving but I stay

Say, say my name
I need a little love to ease the pain
I need a little love to ease the pain
It’s easy to remember when it came

‘Cause it feels like I’ve been
I’ve been here before
You are not my savior
But I still don’t go

Feels like something
That I’ve done before
I could fake it
But I still want more

Fade, made to fade
Passion’s overrated anyway
Say, say my name
I need a little love to ease the pain
I need a little love to ease the pain
It’s easy to remember when it came

‘Cause it feels like I’ve been
I’ve been here before
You are not my savior
But I still don’t go, oh

I feel live something
That I’ve done before
I could fake it
But I still want more, oh.
[/expand]

[Yes. You know it from The Matrix. No, it was not on the soundtrack. Yes. I’ll probably hit each song from that soundtrack during this year.]

The same band. Seven years later.
You can hear how they have grown.
The texture is thicker. The arrangements are more complex and more refined.
The atmosphere is tighter and much darker, without becoming too gloomy. Just dark enough to make you slow down for a bit.

Please, if you have the money, and don’t own the songs yet, hop over to Amazon and buy “Blue Lines” and “Mezzanine”, or at least the MP3s of those songs you really liked. Four bucks will give you over twenty minutes of perfect dark-evening-moody-good-feel-time music!

Yes, I love those songs. I also love the psychy “Daydreaming” and the truly beautiful “Angel”.

When you listen to those songs, try to not do anything else at the time. Perhaps even dim the lights. Look out into the nightly city sky. Have something to drink nearby. Be it tea, coffee, wine, absinthe or Bailey’s. Just… Relax. Enjoy. Feel it.