Not since Portishead's Dummy, or perhaps Tricky's Maxinquaye, has there been an album quite as dark and seductive sounding. Since the release of their last effort, Protection, the "trip-hop" movement that their debut release Blue Lines, helped spawn, has grown in leaps and bounds. While some groups have managed to come across as un-clone-like, others have simply picked up on the fad and chunked out albums without much style or substance. And substance is definitely one of the things that Mezzanine isn't lacking at all.
From the first few seconds of the album, the listener gets a feeling of things to come. A heavy bass rumble pulses for a few moments before a thick beat drops and echoes, and Horace Andy starts singing. After the first verse, another beat lays on top of the original and some guitar textures are added. The title of the song is "Angel," but it sounds more like it has fallen. The rest of the disc continues along this route, every songs moves through a quagmire of sounds and even with vocals from Elizabeth Frazier (Cocteau Twins), never seems to sound very light. Throw this disc in the CD player, find someone you like, and get out the whipped cream, the chocolate syrup, the honey, or all of the above. Mood lighting optional. Seriously, though, one of the best releases thusfar in 1998.