Posts Tagged ‘Trip-Hop’

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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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Massive Attack – Mezzanine

Monday, February 16, 2009
Mezzanine (1998)

Mezzanine (1998)

I swear England makes better music than the U.S.. Not that Americans don’t make good music, but it just seems like more quality musicians come from across the pond.  At least per capita, England outdo America, music-wise.

Massive Attack is an English trip-hop group whose heyday was in the nineties. Mezzanine hit stores in 1998 and marked the end of that nineties heyday. Many consider Massive Attack to the best trip-hop group (though I say the cake goes to Portishead).

Where most English hip-hop groups had insanely fast tempos (some around 500 beats per minute), Massive Attack staked their claim but slowing things down. This is one the band’s trademarks, and it makes for a groovy, relaxing, and unique experience.

Massive Attack was more successful than many other trip-hop groups, and that’s due to the quality of their music. While those groups will fade into obscurity with the passage of time, Massive Attack will remain fresh.

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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.