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Blue Lines

Massive Attack

1991

This was essentially the first "trip-hop" album ever produced, and it's definitely my favorite from that genre.  That's mainly because this album, more-so than any other trip-hop album, seems to have the most soul in my opinion.  While most trip-hop albums sound too detached and overly processed, this album sounds warmer, earthier, more organic than virtually all other albums from the genre that would follow throughout the 90s.  That's not to say this album doesn't have a somewhat pretentious vibe to it, but it sounds more authentic and soulful with the help of songs like "One Love", "Be Thankful For What You Got" and "Hymn of the Big Wheel".  And of course, there's the classic opener "Safe From Harm" which is hands-down one of the coolest songs of all-time.  And who can forget the epicly soulful "Unfinished Sympathy" and the incredibly sultry "Lately". 

Overall, with all due respect to Mezzanine and Dummy (Portishead), Blue Lines is my pick for the best trip-hop album of all-time.

8.8

Mezzanine

Massive Attack

1998

If Blue Lines was the more organic, more soulful early 90s sounding Massive Attack, Mezzanine is the more processed, callous, detached, and wickedly cooler version of Massive Attack.  It sounds a lot sleaker than their debut, sounds more of the era.  It's arguably a better album overall than Blue Lines, just depends on your taste I suppose (it's definitely better than Protection).  While I prefer Blue Lines to Mezzanine, both albums are bonified classics in the trip-hop genre, and are essential listening...a very good MA album...their 2nd best in my book.

8.6

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