Unfinished Sympathy

Massive Attack

Song Review by John Bush

"Unfinished Sympathy" remains, more than a decade after its recording, one of the most elegant, sophisticated works in the history of electronic dance. While rave madness was at its apex on the British charts, the three-man production team known as Massive Attack -- aficionados of classic groove producers through the ages, from Joe Gibbs to Isaac Hayes to Marley Marl -- looked into their hearts to conceive a house single that could move more than just the body. Classical purists may sniff at the slow-moving strings and soft piano work, but the emotional effect is extraordinary when coupled with Shara Nelson's searching vocal. A sleek, catchy drum program and a little shadowed scratching (the only reference to their b-boy past) complete this simple, but tremendously moving, dance production, a tribute to the continuing emotional tug of great music -- whether the source is organic or electronic.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Blue Lines 1991 VCT / Virgin 5:08
Sliver 1993
Original Soundtrack
Vigina Movie 5:07
Singles 90/98 1998 Circa 5:51
Blue Lines/Protection/Mezzanine 2002 Virgin / Wild Bunch 5:08
DJ-Kicks 2004 !K7 5:27
Bite Size Massive Attack 2006 Virgin 5:12
Blue Lines: The Remixes EMI 5:51