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My High School Introduction to Trip Hop
When Massive Attack’s Mezzanine album came out in 1998, it was one of my first forays into electronic music, and
The very first measures are just the beat; not just any beat, a heartbeat. Slowly, wistful background music enters, followed by simple and clear piano chords. The video matches the simplicity of the track, and yet it’s so unusual. In the beginning, it was difficult figuring out what I was seeing. It’s as if the camera is moving through odd pinkish-orange colored water. All of
When Mezzanine came out in 1998, I was contemplating leaving the cult I was born into. It was a momentous life decision I knew would bring tremendous loss and suffering. And yet, I was already enduring depression so severe I slept most hours I was home to escape a reality I no longer wanted. A part of me wanted to be that oddly beautiful baby in the video, for it was protected from the harsh world we exist in every day. Teardrop matched my melancholy and made me realize that great beauty can be found even in the darkest of places. In truth, love is one of the only reasons I’ve chosen to remain alive through the darkest moments of my life.
Many of my friends hated the video because it was “gross,” or “too weird,” but I thought it was achingly beautiful. For what else in this world is more deserving of love than a baby? And yet we all know that babies grow to be adults who suffer for, and because of, love. It causes heartbreak, and none of us would experience the devastation of loss if we didn’t love. Haven’t we all experienced pain? After all, none of us get out unscathed. Life is suffering, surviving it, and attempting to find love and beauty, despite the pain.
Massive Attack hooked me with Teardrop and my love for them grew listening to the entire Mezzanine album. As a passionate music lover since I was very young, there aren’t many songs that I can say have made such an indelible impression on me as Teardrop did in the very first verse. It expresses the utter simplicity of love, heartbreak, and loss, and the weight each of those
Full of melancholy and desire, Teardrop is a stunning masterpiece, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. Yet they’re one of the only acts on my list of favorites I haven’t seen yet. So of course I just had to look up their current tour schedule and it looks like they’re coming to the U.S. at the beginning of next year. Hmmmmm. Perhaps a quick 4 day trip to San Francisco is in the cards…