Music / Mezzanine

Love you, love you, love you, love you,...

Mezzanine (1998) is the third album by English trip-hop group Massive Attack. The album was a major departure from the jazzy and laidback sound of their first two albums, Blue Lines (1991) and Protection (1994). The sounds are more shifted towards Alternative Rock and Ambient.

Mezzanine is Massive Attack's most commercially successful album to date, attributed in part to the success of the singles "Angel" and "Risingson" but especially "Teardrop", used as the theme song for the medical drama show House. It is listed on both Rolling Stone and NME's lists of the 500 greatest albums of all time (#412 and #215, respectively).

Tracklist:

  1. "Angel" (6:19)
  2. "Risingson" (4:58)
  3. "Teardrop" (5:30)
  4. "Inertia Creeps" (5:57)
  5. "Exchange" (4:11)
  6. "Dissolved Girl" (6:06)
  7. "Man Next Door" (5:56)
  8. "Black Milk" (6:21)
  9. "Mezzanine" (5:56)
  10. "Group Four" (8:12)
  11. "Exchange" (4:10)
  12. "Superpredators" (5:16)

Personnel:

  • Robert Del Naja: vocals, keyboards, samples
  • Grant Marshall: vocals, keyboards, samples
  • Andrew Vowles: keyboards, samples
  • Neil Davidge: keyboards, samples
  • Horace Andy: vocals
  • Elizabeth Fraser: vocals
  • Sara Jay: vocals
  • Angelo Bruschini: guitars
  • Jon Harris, Bob Locke, Winston Blisset: bass guitar
  • Andy Gangadeen: drums
  • Dave Jenkins, Michael Timothy: keyboards
  • Jan Kybert: Protools

Trope, trope, ... is a verb

  • Ambient: The music is close to this genre.
  • Animal Motifs: A Lucanus cervus stag beetle is featured on the album cover.
  • Broken Record: "Angel"
    Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, ...
  • Cover Version: "Man Next Door", a cover by John Holt and the Paragons, here performed by Horace Andy.
  • Darker and Edgier: The sound and lyrics are far darker compared to their previous albums.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The black-and-white cover.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: This was the first music album to be released to the public for free on their website.
  • Epic Rocking: All tracks go over the five minute mark, except for "Exchange". The longes track is the 8:12 "Group Four".
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The bass drums in "Teardrop" are designed to sound like a heartbeat, and conveniently the song is used as the theme song for the medical TV series House.
  • Instrumentals: "Exchange". Later on the album the same track appears again, but with vocals.
  • Intercourse with You: It's more obvious in some songs than in others the chorus of "Inertia Creeps" is basically just "moving up slowly / she comes," and a prominent line in "Mezzanine" is "don't frown / tastes better on the way back down." Actually, pretty much the only songs on the album that don't have this are "Exchange," "Man Next Door," and maybe "Group Four" depending on one's interpretation.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant:
    • If you don't like bugs, you might find the album cover a bit icky.
    • The music video for "Teardrop", with its depiction of an unborn baby drifting through a massive, empty womb, is more than a little disturbing. Especially when the baby start singing.
    • "Man Next Door"
    I've got to get away from here
    This is not a place for me to stay
    I've got to take my family
    We'll find a quiet place
    Hear the pots and pans they fall
    Bang against my wall
    Bang against my wall
    No rest at all
  • Obsession Song: "Angel", of the passive type. The song was originally done by constant collaborator/quasi-band member Horace Andy as a Reggae love song, but the harsh, Alternative Rock riffing and pounding drums just illustrate how the instrumental backing can drastically change a song's context.
  • One Man Song: "Man Next Door".
  • One Woman Song: "Dissolved Girl".
  • One-Woman Wail: "Teardrop" features vocals by Elizabeth Fraser.
  • One-Word Title: "Angel", "Risingson", "Teardrop", "Exchange" and "Mezzanine".
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: "Teardrop" is recognizable to fans of the TV series House, because the show uses the song as its intro theme.
  • The Power of Love:
    • "Angel"
    You are my angel
    Come from way above to bring me love
    • "Teardrop"
    Love, love is a verb
    Love is a doing word
    Fearless on my breath
    Gentle impulsion
    Shakes me, makes me lighter
    Fearless on my breath
    • "Exchange"
    Never mix love with hatred
  • Record Producer: Neil Davidge.
  • Sampling:
    • "Angel" samples "Last Bongo in Belgium" by the Incredible Bongo Band.
    • "Risingson" samples "I Found A Reason" from Velvet Underground's Loaded.
    • "Teardrop" has a sample of "Sometimes I Cry" by Les McCann.
    • "Inertia Creeps" samples "Rockwrok" by Ultravox.
    • "Exchange" samples both "Our Day Will Come" by Isaac Hayes and "Summer in the City" by Quincy Jones.
    • "Man Next Door" is built up from samples by "When the Levee Breaks" from Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV and "10:15 Saturday Night" by The Cure.
    • "Black Milk" samples "Tribute" by Manfred Mann.
    • "Mezzanine" samples "Heavy Soul Slinger" by Bernard Purdie.
    • "Superpredator" samples "Metal Postcard" by Siouxsie and the Banshees, but only on the Japanese release.
  • Say My Name: "Dissolved Girl"
    Say, say my name
    I need a little love to ease the pain
  • Special Guest: Reggae artist Horace Andy performs on "Angel", "Man Next Door" and "(Exchange)", whilst "Teardrop", "Black Milk" and "Group Four" feature Elizabeth Fraser on vocals.
  • Title Track: "Mezzanine".
  • Title Drop: "Man Next Door" comes very close but technically averts it by phrasing the title slightly differently ("there is a man that lives next door").

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Music/Mezzanine