Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
MASSIVE ATTACK Blue Lines (Virgin)
Charles Mudede had a hand in assigning me this album, and he offered it with this admonition: "You know, one of the best songs of all time is on this album. See if you can figure out which one it is." Good lord, man. NO. The answer is likely NO. I was also told, when I admitted I didn't have the slightest clue what genre this was going to be, that it was "triphop." I didn't know what that was, either. "It's just British rap," was the response. What's the "trip" part? Everyone came up empty on that.
You know what this sound is not? Massive. Nor is it an attack. It's mostly British people talking over beats. I'd assumed you could rap fast in British English (we've all seen Lock, Stock and Snatch), but it turns out you can't. Or maybe fast-rapping is just too vulgar; they have to take sips of tea in between each verse. They really enunciate! I love the name Massive Attack, but it should be renamed Medium-Volume Rhythmic Speaking. It's like what you'd listen to if a warlock put a spell on you that required you to choose some form of hiphop to listen to during every moment of your life, for the rest of your life. When you wanted to go get a massage, you'd totally pick this. This is excellent nap rap.