The New Classics
Artist Massive Attack Album Blue Lines Ample Evidence of Greatness In 1991, the DJ culture-inspired Bristol trio of Grant ”Daddy G” Marshall, Adrian ”Mushroom” Vowles, and graffiti artist Robert ”3-D” del Naja fashioned the template for what would quickly be termed trip-hop. With guest appearances by genre twisters Tricky and Neneh Cherry, Massive Attack’s Blue Lines blended Euro-Caribbean hip-hop with synth delicacies and smoky jazz vocals. The group’s ornate vision — imagine Bryan Ferry meets A Tribe Called Quest — lit an experimental flame under DJs, B-boys, and torch singers alike. Awe-Inspiring Track Guest singer Shara Nelson’s hypnotic background vocals on ”Daydreaming” — ”I quietly observe standing in my space” — make placidity downright sexy. Lingering Effects Massive Attack affiliates Tricky and Tracey Thorn made valiant efforts to keep the momentum going, and bands like Portishead, Esthero, and Morcheeba successfully wove the new formula into gold, but trip-hop eventually went downbeat when lesser successors became overly dependent on gloomy atmospherics. While Blue Lines still shines, its legacy has grown a bit too blue.