Trip-Hop pioneers Massive Attack tackle their sophomore effort by pacing themselves on Protection. They decide that they will need a female voice to be a major role in how the record, so they pick Glasgow solo singer Nicolette and Tracy Thorn of Everything But The Girl to appear on two tracks along with collaborator Horace Andy once again as well.
The result is a slower and lankier record. Abandoning the sounds of summer for the sounds of the sleazy snaky underground (Karmacoma). The band at least gushes more emotion on songs like Protection and Three. Horace Andy wheezes even heavier on songs like Spying Glass than he did on the debut record. It's still very distinct. Distinct enough to keep Massive Attack's sound predominantly out of the ordinary. What is even more unusual is the cover of The Doors Light My Fire. A dub heavy and minimalist take on the original. Don't think about it to hard and it becomes rather imaginative. Especially when you forget just how bare and stripped it is. Almost a completely acappella song for Horace Andy to shine on.
Protection is a very mature album for these guys. It's stranded in between the dark and rebellious Mezzanine and the optimistic Blue Lines. Smooth Jazz is what appears to be what captured the band's attention on this project. Take note of Weather Storm and even the seriously snazzy Better Things. This record almost sounds like it could have come out after Mezzanine because of how confident it sounds. These are technical approaches that sound more akin to seasoned producers rather than sophomore lads just kicking it. Bumpy but impressive nonetheless.