With only one original member left in the Massive Attack line-up, it did not come as too much of a surprise when I read a number of mixed reviews about 100th Window. I've always been a fan of this band, and with the addition of Sinead O'Connor doing guest vocals on three of the featured tracks on this album, in my opinion you can't miss. Sinead fans who were less than pleased with O'Connor's latest release to date, (an album of traditional celtic/folk songs titled Sean Nos Nua), are in for a real treat. Not surprisingly, one of the Sinead offerings "A Prayer For England" is a deeply emotional and political song directed at the children of England, but easily functions as a commentary about the state of the world and it's pressures. Sinead has aways been quite vocal about her spirituality, and calls upon us to harness our inner spirit and spread a message of peace, tolerane and understanding.
Certainly more harmony is needed amongst all human beings that share this planet. Fundamentally, we share more similarities than differences. It should be interesting to see how hardcore Massive Attack fans embrace this album, but I have now heard most of the tracks and must say it has lived up to my expectations concerning what it would end up sounding like.
The two other offerings by Sinead, in my humble opinion, are just as great. "What Your Soul Sings" reminds us that we must beleive in ourselves and accept responsibility for our own choices. "Special Cases" seems to address the popularity of feminism and seems to reflect that not all men are bad after all. (It was not too long ago that Sinead released a single called "No Man's Woman" only to get married appoximately one year later).
3D's vocals on the other tracks aren't particularily anything to shout about from the rooftops, but I wouldn't go so far as to suggest (as some critics have) that the majority of 100th Window is "lazy music making" Besides, with such an odd change in line up, this album could not possibly hope to please everyone. However, it has certainly made a fine impression on me.