Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The dead rise and review...

Portishead - Third

11 years (!) after their last studio album was released, Portishead have returned with an album that is dark and obscure, an often jarring listen. It is also pretty damn fantastic. This is powerful, intimate music that really asks to be listened to on its own terms - while the trip-hop sound that Portishead helped to popularize became watered down by subsequent followers into inoffensive, background 'chillout' music (Morcheeba, anyone?), "Third" is more tense than even Portishead's previous works. The first few tracks recall the retro-cinema vibe of much of their first two albums, but the band soon move into weirder, more personal territory. 'Nylon Smile' rolls along with a hand-drum rhythm, 'The Rip' is morose and pretty with an acoustic guitar backing up Beth Gibbons (until analog synths and drums wash in halfway through), while 'Magic Doors' is almost defiant. My favourite track, though, is the aptly-named 'Machine Gun' which features a back-breaking drum loop. And of course this should be a given, but it bears saying that Beth Gibbons' vocals are the star of the show on this album. Highly recommended (just don't put it on at a party).
-N. Zombie

N. Zombie will be reviewing only zombie approved awesome albums weekly, to brighten your dreary existence. Or the opposite. Or whatever. :-)


  1. your review makes me want to have a listen to their new album. wow, 11 years since their last one! we'll see if i actually go out and buy a cd or, ahem, download it off the Net :)

  2. Anonymous6:13 AM

    I've been waiting for this. :)