Massive Attack, 'Splitting the Atom' (Virgin)

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Splitting the Atom
Critical Mass
Label: Virgin

by Barry Walters

Suggesting enormous dread through anxious details, this four-track preview of the Bristol trip-hop collective's long-awaited 2010 album slithers like adelicate monster. "Splitting the Atom" is a high-resolution snapshot of economic collapse, while "Pray for Rain" features TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe crooning over ominous piano and drums, then harmonizing with himself in a fleeting patch of sunshine. Sinister remixes of cuts fronted by Martina Topley-Bird and Elbow's Guy Garvey reconnect Massive to their stylistic descendants, while further refining their calm on the verge of chaos.

WATCH: Massive Attack mini-movie for Splitting the Atom

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