Blue Lines 2012 Mix/Master (CD/DVD)

Massive Attack

Virgin, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Massive Attack’s career has been nothing if not diverse. Even with just five full-length releases in the 20 odd years of their career, there are very few avenues in music that this group hasn’t explored. With each release, Robert Del Naja and his fellow mates Grant Marshall, Andy Vowles, and Tricky have shown that the only thing consistent about this collective, amidst the inconsistencies of the lineup, is that it sounds like a totally different band every time. Though the group’s music has changed dramatically over the years, all of their releases have stood the test of time, none as much as their debut my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Blue Lines, which has become a classic.

Listening to the fruits of the beautiful movement that’s happening in the indie music scene of today, which is flourishing with an assortment of bands with an eclectic palette of influences, it is impossible not to think of the impact Blue Lines has had. While Massive Attack has always bravely crossed genre boundaries across all of their releases, Blue Lines really puts this all into perspective. This album wasn’t just one of the first that changed the nature of electronic music forever by its (then new) trip hop style, slowing down dance music to a laidback pace, but it was ingenious in how it incorporated different genres like soul, reggae, hip hop, and dub into a package that not only turned out a masterpiece but would inspire bands and new genres for years to come.

The 2012 mix doesn’t offer much in terms of new material except for the remastered tracks in CD and DVD (96K/24 bit high resolution audio) forms. This slight spiffying up of the original sound and the fancy new packaging would be a more attractive purchase for a fan as a collector’s item. But for the rest, the original release would do just fine. This was a cutting-edge album in 1991 and is still as amazing as it ever was. The sound still sounds fresh and clean and doesn’t necessarily require further enhancement, especially if the re-release doesn’t throw in some extra morsels to make the deal any sweeter for the money.

Rating: A

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