CAUTION! This post contains a minor spoiler for the film Snatch.
Fifth time’s the charm. That’s what I was thinking recently when I decided to try listening to Massive Attack . . . again. I’ve tried and tried in the past but the music just doesn’t do it for me. What’s bizarre is that they have two songs that I love and find incredibly moving, and it was always those tracks that made me think I needed to give the rest of their music another chance . . . and then another, and another. Each time, it didn’t take long before I turned the music off. “Not my style,” I’d say. “Those two good songs must be a fluke.”
The two songs were made known to me not by regular casual listening, but in the form of soundtracks. Angel, which kicks off the album Mezzanine, is featured in the film Snatch during the scene where Mickey’s mother’s caravan is set ablaze. I discovered the song Teardrop (from the same album) years ago through an interesting YouTube video which promptly became my first YouTube favourite and the cause of my creating a user account there. Many people may also know Teardrop from the intro to the TV series House.
Massive Attack isn’t the only band for which I’ve experienced this, either. I also really like the song Comfort Eagle by Cake, but none of their other material. The same goes for Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap, and Nena's 99 Luftballons.
I have no sound explanation as to why I like only one or two songs from certain artists’ entire repertoires, but I do find that the singled-out songs I enjoy are usually the ones that are slightly dissimilar to their fellow tracks. Whether or not that’s the reason, this peculiarity still bugs me. So, this time I borrowed Mezzanine from a friend and forced myself to listen to the entire album from start to finish, and the outcome was surprising. I didn’t hate it. I even found myself listening to it again a bit more voluntarily the next evening. I can still hear the things in the music that had always prevented me from liking it, but I suppose some stuff needs to grow on you.