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Single Review: “Unfinished Sympathy” – Massive Attack

This track is just beautiful! Why did I pick it for the throwback track of the day? Well back in 1998 listeners for BBC Radio 1 voted this number 1 in the 100 national anthems.

For me this track has got everything, lush strings, scratching, a breakbeat with hypnotic bells in there too. The vocals as delivered by Shara Nelson are so strong, and emotional. Add to that the live strings recorded at Abbey Road – well that makes sense though doesn’t it?

If I’m to go back in time and chat to my 14 year old self – the age I was when I came out, I think I’d have a conversation regarding how “mature” the lyrics were. I was already into deep lyrics given how much I was into the Pet Shop Boys at the time. But when you listen to the hook:

“Like a soul without a mindIn a body without a heartI’m missing every part.”

It really cuts deep. 

Now according to the song’s history they went over budget when recording this at Abbey Road…. they had to sell their car. 

It certainly paid off. 

Oh yeah! 

Did anyone notice there’s no bassline? 


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