Posts Tagged ‘Portishead’

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Portishead – Third

Friday, November 23, 2012
Third (2007)

Third (2007)

This is one of those rare examples of an artist coming back after 10+ years and completely hitting the mark.

Third just might be Portishead’s best work. Why? It’s true of every Portishead album, but there is not a bad track, and Third contains Portishead’s best track, in close contention with “Roads” – “The Rip”.

Like every Portishead released, Third explores themes of alienation, pain, and anger with such alarming beauty. It is a bit experimental compared to Dummy, and maybe less so than Portisheadbut Portishead will always be one of my favorite groups. Beth Gibbons lyrics are pure poetry – only she could pen something so absolutely chilling with such earnest warmth. This is especially evident on “Nylon Smile”: And I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve you / And I don’t know what I’d do without you. “The Rip:” In my thoughts I have bled / for the riddles I’ve been fed / another lie moves over.

More than most other artists, Portishead creates this dark ambiance that is hard to qualify with words. Listening is always a wonderfully cathartic experience; when we hear our own fears voiced and explored in Portishead, it’s strangely peaceful. I guess like falling into deep water, to reference the track of the same name?

All I can say is, I really hope they release another.

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Portishead – Dummy

Monday, February 2, 2009
Dummy (1994)

Dummy (1994)

I got this a couple weeks ago when I went with my friend to Hastings. It was a six dollar gamble, considering Portishead was a band I’ve heard of but never actually heard.

I asked my friend to put it in his CD player in the car on the way back. He picked the most depressing sounding song on the album, “Numb” (he’s kind of emo).

We really dug it – I didn’t expect the heavy bassline and beats. My friend commented that is sounded like hip-hop (I later found out i’ts called trip-hop, but to anyone reading this that’s probably not a new thing.)

Then came the voice. Holy crap, it’s a girl! Yes, that was the general reaction.

The genral vibe of Dummy is sort of spooky, yet simelteneously strangely relaxing and warm. My friend agreed, although more on the spooky side.

Anyway, in the two weeks since, I’ve probably listened to Dummy ten times or so, which is actually saying a lot since I go through new music pretty fast. The last album I remember getting that kind of attention was Depeche Mode’s Violator, which I bought last summer.

I haven’t had time to fully explore the album, but I just want to mention that “Roads” is quite possibly one the most haunting and beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. If you have not heard this song, you’re missing out on one the greastest musical creations of the nineties, no contest. Incredibly powerful and powerfully simple, “Roads” really hits me deep.

Sorry to end this so abruptyly here, but I posted a video of “Roads” below, which has something like two and half million views. So it’s a very cool song.