Massive Attack aren't known for their prodigious output, but they are known for exemplary effort. The Bristolians founded the genre trip hop and meld musical styles.
There's high expectations for Heligoland, their fifth studio album in 19 years, but it's a patchy affair. When it scores it cements their place as pioneers, but there are a series of dud tracks and at times guest vocalists such as Martina Topley-Bird and Guy Garvey seem ill-used.
Happily there some gems as well. Opener Pray for Rain brings their brooding darkness to the fore, ably enhanced by Tunde Adebimpe's vocals. They're reunited with reggae star Horace Andy (who set 1998's Angel alight) on the woozy electronic Splitting the Atom. Paradise Circus is beautiful, rhythmic and lifted by the fractured vocals of Hope Sandoval. Fittingly, it's Robert del Naja's rapping on Atlas Air that offers one of the album's best tracks: an addictive, dark, club classic.