Massive Attack and Ghostpoet - "Come Near Me" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

5 August 2016

One of three new songs from Massive Attack's Fantom app, "Come Near Me" is a really creepy number.
 

Chris Ingalls: One of three new songs from Massive Attack’s Fantom app, “Come Near Me” is a really creepy number, with guest Ghostpoet channeling some dark combination of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, maintaining a low end while still keeping the sonics bright and fresh. The video’s middle section, with a knowing wink at Massive Attack’s previous smash hit, is a fun, lighthearted break in the tension. A fruitful collaboration that shows Massive Attack still making interesting music a couple of decades into their career. [7/10]
  

Steve Horowitz: No matter how close we want to be, we can never bridge the gap between ourselves and others. Massive Attack’s makes familiarity a form of contempt, and seduction. Ghostpoet’s recitation of a come on, “come near me”, may be haunting but is never ominous. In the video, the object of desire has a blank expression that suggests she too is compelled by forces one cannot understand, as is the benign stalker. The song makes a case for insistence as part of the mating dance. The video drowns the two of waves they did not create. Both are compelling in their own ways. [8/10]

Pryor Stroud: “Come Near Me”, Massive Attack’s new collaboration with Ghostpoet, begins with a dark-electro pendulum swinging back and forth; with each successive synth throb, this pendulum seems to inch closer to your chest, to the millimeters-deep surface of your skin. Threatening and panic-inducing, it’s the aural equivalent of the torture apparatus from Poe’s classic short story “The Pit and the Pendulum”, but, here, no salvation is offered. Despair presides over the track from start to finish, and Ghostpoet’s lyric is suffused with malice and subtly duplicity. He speaks—drones, incants—like he’s luring you into a trap, one that’s too drenched in shadow to see from a distance. “We’ve been here before / Don’t fear me,” he drones, the metronomic trip hop beat plodding behind him, and despite his injunction to stay calm, Massive Attack’s production makes it impossible to listen without goosebumps crawling down your spine. [6/10]

John Bergstrom: In terms of meaningful portent and dread, you can’t go wrong with Ghostpoet. It’s Massive Attack stalwarts 3D and Daddy G who fail to come up with anything new here. As far as the minimal, downtempo, saddened Massive Attack pulse goes, it’s pretty effective nonetheless. The world is pretty dark these days, yes, but that just makes a track like “Come Near Me” all the more inevitable. [6/10]

Chad Miller: The guitar and vocal technique reminded me a lot of Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence. Anyways, the song’s video was pretty cool. The song itself was decent, but I probably wouldn’t listen to it much on its own. I did like the overarching atmosphere of the track which the lyrics added a lot to. The verses were particularly powerful. Sadly, all of the repeated lines did not conjure up the same effect. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.60

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