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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflection on Blue Lines - 10 Years Later
Review: Perhaps the smoothest, most rythmic album extant. Hypnotic, controlled, patient...the deep beat gently rocks you; the vocalists sing to you, about you, with you. The timing is pure; the feel natural, organic.
History: With their roots in the Bristol, England, club scene of the early '80s, the members of Massive Attack originated trip-hop, one of the most...
Published on October 30, 2003 by C.F. Stewart

versus
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars i was not impressed
While this album is the most highly lauded of the long and amazing career of Massive Attack, it left me disappointed, prehaps because of all the hype I had heard about it before listening. Sure, safe From harm and Five Man Army are nice tracks but don't expect them to just knock you flat like 'Angel' or 'Black Milk' from Mezzanine did for me.

The production,...
Published on January 16, 2006 by Daniel Ambrus


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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflection on Blue Lines - 10 Years Later, October 30, 2003
By 
C.F. Stewart (Annapolis, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
Review: Perhaps the smoothest, most rythmic album extant. Hypnotic, controlled, patient...the deep beat gently rocks you; the vocalists sing to you, about you, with you. The timing is pure; the feel natural, organic.
History: With their roots in the Bristol, England, club scene of the early '80s, the members of Massive Attack originated trip-hop, one of the most influential sound sof the '90s, combining the rythmic urgency of hip-hop, the freewheeling samples of the DJ's craft, soul-rich melodies, and dub-reggae's hebty, intoxicating bottom end. The group began in 1983 as a loose collective of singers, rappers, DJs, and producers that stages parties under the name the Wild Bunch. Included in its ranks were Mushroom (Andrew Vowles) and Daddy G (Grant Marshall), as well as Nelleee Hooper (later of Soul II Soul, and a producer for Madonna, Bjork, and others), and Tricky. The Wild Bunch released a 1986 cover of Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," which became a European dance-club sensation, just as legal authorities began to clamp down on the Bristol party circuit. In 1987 graffiti artist 3-D (Robert Del Naja) joined Daddy G and Mushroom to form Massive Attack. A series of singles led to the 1991 release of Blue Lines, which featured an array of vocalists--including Shara Nelson, Tricky, and reggae singer Horace Andy--and promoted a somnambulatory beat that ran counter to the hyped-up dance rythms of techno.
Importance: As a revolutionary force in music, this album is in the highest circle--with The White Album, Exile on Main Street, Astral Weeks, The Bends, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and the new Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, by Wilco.
Further Listening: The only Massive Attack album which comes close to the pure form of Blue Lines is Mezzanine. Also, listen to Maxinquae, Tricky's best solo effort, and Dummy by Portishead, the other 'trip-hop' classic.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Lines IS Trip-Hop, February 28, 2000
By 
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
The members (and producers) of Massive Attack will always be known as THE pioneers of the trip-hop genre. Blue Lines swirls with snare drum beats, soft bass guitar, and other instrumentation that flows through and through like a dream of peace and proserity. As one reviewer described the "positive" aspect of this album, Blue Lines is the kind of album that gives inner calm. I relaxed and meditated with this album for months. Massive Attack's debut produces a sedative effect on the listener, like soul food, and even brings back the spirit of the 1960's that everything within should promote your consciousness to being a peacemaker and peacegiver. Songs like "Hymn of the Big Wheel" describe the plight of man's short time on earth and how destiny shapes us all. "Be Thankful For What You've Got" is a motown remake set to a reggae sounding beat and soft record LP scratchin' (used in R&B and rap music), sounding much the same yet with modern vibe. "Unfinished Sympathy", a U.K. hit single from this album is painfully beautiful and lyrically stunning about the lover that hurt you, but yet you still want them back (which fades out with a piano solo) "Like a soul without a mind/ in a body without a heart/ I'm missin' every part" Every song on Blue Lines is a testament to the human existence (sex, love, for richer, for poorer, ecstasy, joy, remorse, jealousy, life...)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, fresh, and the beginning of Massive Attack's power, April 23, 2001
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
Released in 1990, BLUE LINES was the first LP by Massive Attack, a trio from Bristol that had colloborated together before, with others, as the Wild Bunch. The nine tracks of BLUE LINES hit contemporary music in the gut, creating a new style that was more melodic than hip-hop but still retaining a beat. Combining the soulful singing of Shara Nelson, the rapping of Grant Marshall and Robert Del Naja, and the reggae crooning of Horace Andy, this album was something new and exciting.
More than ten years later, it's still an surprisingly fresh album. "Safe From Harm" deserves radio play still. The dialogue rapping "Daydreaming" continually amazes me. "Unfinished Sympathy" has retained its excitement, and DJs like Sasha still spin it.
Massive Attack's first album, and just as good as the two since released.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I probably should have bought this before Mezzanine..., September 4, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
...I might like it a little better.

There is a good chance you will recognize some of the songs on this disc and not realize it was Massive Attack. I have heard some of the songs on movie soundtracks to commercials. Blue Lines is what I would call "Trip Hop". Trip Hop was more of a result of the 12 inch single boom of the late 80s through the early 90s. Remixers would extend traditional singles and the Trip Hop genre basically came out of that. Massive Attack were one of the first to take this as their style.

Here's the problem, I purchased Mezzanine based on some outside reviews I read. I liked Mezzanine so much I had to get other Massive Attack discs. I was mildly let down, Blue Lines included. Its not because Blue Lines is bad, its because Mezzanine is that good.

If Mezzanine is your first Massive Attack disc and are debating whether to purchase others, my suggestion is to listen to the other Massive Attack discs and purchase the songs you like through download. Blue Lines is a solid effort in Trip Hop.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive Attack's Stunning Debut, April 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
Beautiful. Danceable. Innovative. Just a few words that describe Massive Attack's debut album "Blue Lines." I'm not really sure why everyone is raving about "Mezzanine" because I found it to be quite a step down from "Blue Lines" and "Protection."
The album features slow bass beats, club beats, the soulful vocals of Shara Nelson and Horace Andy, and the rapping of Tricky (Kid) and 3-D. Every song has a voice of its own. "One Love" is a features twists and turns and a beautiful piano at the end. The title track features soothing spoken word. "Be Thankful..." and "Unfinished Sympathy" are two gorgeous, swelling tracks. A club beat dominates "Daydreaming," which also benefits from the vocals of Shara Nelson. And what on Mezzanine can match Horace Andy's soulful prayer on "Hymn of the Big Wheel?"
I've been disappointed with Massive's turn towards the darker moods. "Protection" was incredible too, but "Blue Lines" the best of all. Skip "Mezzanine" and cheer up! I hope this group moves toward an innovative future that continues in the tradition of their past releases.
Check out the Import single of "Unfinished Sympathy" as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Man Army, August 27, 2000
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
I bought "Blue Line" album after listening to Massive's 1998 release "Mezzanine" and was not impressed at first. I read that it was an essential album that influenced to whole trip hop genre (though critics and trip hoppers also site Smith & Mighty as the first) and that it was a classic. The two albums are quite far apart in style and tone. Mezzanine being, dark, edgy and heavy, Blue Lines more easy, neutral and urban.
Now that I've had Blue Lines for a while and have all three Massive releases to compare it to, I see it for what it is worth. It sound more urban than their other two albums with soul, rap, reggae and R&B influences. I think the male vocals in Blue Lines are more impressive than the male vocals on Protection. Tracks like "blue lines", "five man army" and "daydreaming" are great. "Safe from Harm" is a decent opener with Sara Nelson's soulful voice over a smooth bass guitar. It's not edgy and dramatic like Mezzanine or trys to be slick like Protection but it is an essentially, cool recording. So pick it up and hear how they sounded in the early day of trip hop.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue lines is anything but blue, January 15, 2002
By 
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
Arrogant, pretentious, self-absorbed. These harsh adjectives have been used to describe Massive Attack lately. But for all of the harsh words thrown their way, they sure make one hell of a CD. This is it. The originator, the innovator, the percolator of trip-hop. And what a CD it is. At first listen, some songs are great, while others are obnoxious. Some you wish would go on forever, while others go overlong. But as you listen, the album sticks to you like white on rice.
I'm not fan of giving CD's five stars. But Blue Lines is truly a masterpeice. It takes the best elements of reggae, house, hip-hop, funk, and soul and puts them in a blender. Every song, with the help of a number of guest vocalists, sounds completely different from the last. The album has a cohesiveness that few albums share nowadays. This is truly a record that can be appreciated as an entire record, front-to-back, rather than just a compilation of songs.
High points: Too many to count. Safe From Harm is a stellar and spacey opener, with One Love following it up with a brilliant reggae vibe. Five man Army could be the mellowest hip-hop song in history, and Unfinished Sympathy evokes feelings that had not yet been seen in electronic music.
Low points: I wish I could say that there aren't any, but Daydreaming (the first single, no less) can get a little repetitive, as can Lately, but that hardly keeps it from being a perfect album. If you are a music fan and can stand to listen to equipment that's a little outdated. Do not hesitate. buy now.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary; to compare it to the other 2 is futile.., April 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
I've been an MA fan since '94. I own all three albums, as well as No Protection and the Singles Collection. Massive Attack, aside from being insanely talented, switch formulas from album to album, which is why it's pointless to compare the albums to each other. Moreover, many of the latecomers who think Mezzanine is MA's best are oblivious to the beauty and texture of "Protection" and "Blue Lines". (You can't get to C by ignoring A and B.)
Now as far as "Blue Lines" goes, what can be said that hasn't been said already? Eight years after it's release, this album still stands as a masterpiece of "trip-hop" (I loathe that term.) The groove is melodic, built from fragments of hip-hop, soul, and reggae. One of the best things about the album is the harmonizing of Shara Nelson. She brings depth to everything she touches, whether it's the opener "Safe From Harm" ('but if you take what's mine/I'll sure as hell retaliate...'), "Unfinished Sympathy" (a Radio 1 favorite, with a hip-hop bassline and orchestral strings), or "Daydreaming", the 1990 single that _really_ started it all. The verbal exchanges between 3D, Daddy G, and a young Tricky are also witty (listen to the way 3D pronounces 'vitamin' on "Daydreaming".) And how can I leave out Horace Andy. From his work here, it's easy to see why he's been a mainstay ever since. (IMHO, however, "Spying Glass" is Horace at his best.)
All in all, this is a gem. It singlehandedly gave birth to a sound that matured with each passing album.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Lines is a New Classic, April 16, 2000
By 
Jack L. Aiello (Bronx, New York United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
This is the first CD from Massive Attack and though their subsequent efforts are just as fine, it is Blue Lines that still outshines and sets the musical standard for the '90s and beyond. Never have I heard an album mix rap, reggae, dub, pop, dance, club and R&B so homogeneously, that it practically reinvents a new sonic vocabulary. Every song is surprisingly brilliant and authentic with one misstep (I'm not very fond of "Five Man Army"). () While various vocalists are featured on all the tracks, the album maintains its sense of uniformity through the experimental and modern sheen of its sound; keyboard blips, thick vibrating bass lines, piano, violin, etc. are all funneled through a Cuisinart and the results are still truly astonishing today. Keep an open ear for Shara Nelson's haunting vocals on "Safe from Harm", "Lately" and "Unfinished Sympathy", or Horace Andy's reggae warble on "One Love". Blue Lines is highly recommendable; you'll be a Massive Attack fan before the close of the last track.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blue Lines - how did it take me eight years to buy you!, August 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
I saw Massive Attack live at the V99 festival in Chelmsford, England, and they were breathtaking. I already owned Mezzanine and I felt compelled to finally buy their debut album, Blue Lines. What an album, I can hardly believe it is eight years old, it sounds as fresh, cutting-edge and relevant now as it ever has. The album is musically brilliant, differing textures, dynamics and, above all, pure atmosphere, on the stand-out tracks Safe From Harm and Unfinished Sympathy, the bittersweet love song for the 90s. The inventive turntabling by Mushroom stands out on One Love and the impacable cool of Blue Lines with its marvellous chilled-out backing and smooth and relaxed rapping by 3d, Daddy G and Tricky Kid (as he was known then) is unmissable. Fittingly, it ends with a triumphant anthem, Hymn of the Big Wheel, a message of hope and eternity. I can't believe I missed this album for 8 years. Don't make the mistake I did, buy it now!
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Blue Lines
Blue Lines by Massive Attack (Audio CD - 1992)
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