Thursday, May 1, 2008

Album Review: Portishead's Thrid

Portishead has just released Third, their first album in a decade. And jumping back into Portishead’s world ten years on, three things are immediately clear. The first is, I’ve missed them more than I realized. Secondly, the band’s music has been incredibly influential. Lastly, they still sound amazing. And this sound—this combination of voice, samples, and live instruments—has an elemental power that makes their music elegiac at the same time it’s thrilling. A major key to this is Beth Gibbons’ voice. It has this wonderful fragility at the same time it has power and a unique sound and approach. She’s sort of a trip hop Billie Holiday.

Third is certainly going to be on by best of 2008 list. It will also be a top contender for best comeback (though I hate the phrase). The track “Machine Gun” with its automatic weapons beats is the first single. The lyrics on the album are pure Portishead as well. The song “Hunter” is a relationship song full of insecurity and doubt. And when Beth Gibbons sings, “And if I should fall, would you hold me? / Would you pass me by? / Ooh, you know I'd ask you for nothing, / Just to wait for a while” you are right there with her, teetering on the edge.

Check out the video for “Machine Gun” or the song live on Later with Jools Holland below.


Megg said...

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll! I have to say, when I got this album, I thought I was going to pee a little, waiting for the first song to start. Its everything I hoped it would be and more, and the best part is that my babe LOVES it too.

Post a Comment