Monday, 30 June 2008

Portishead – Third

For some reason I had avoided this record until now, I couldn’t help but think that they were past it and all the hype was bollocks, so I stared clear and then forgot about them. I have seen Third popping up on midyear top album lists so decided to bite the bullet and have a listen. I wasn’t disappointed at all they still have that moody freaked out trip hopping sound. It might even be a little darker and organic sounding too. Her voice is still sublime and ghostly. You can defiantly see where the coffee table music for dinner parties tag comes from with Portishead but I don’t think this entirely does them justice.

Nylon Smile is a cool track with a subtle drum spooky guitar twang and backwards loops, with sweep vocal melodies over the top. The Rip is another stand out with its theremin and lowly almost flamenco sounding guitar. Her voice is really lonely sounding drenched in a nice bit of reverb while the track builds subtly with horns, some fat synth and jazz drums, it is a little to short for my liking though. Plastic is pretty disturbing with its mad sampled quick fire drum loops and spooky whirling sounds. We Carry On has an edge to it with the telephone sounds repeating over pounding tom toms and freaky synth bass loops, the discord of the guitars build the track. They seem to often stick to one mood, which is melancholy spook drama but they do it well so fair play to them. Deep Water is a bit of a folk ballad of the loneliest and most fragile moment so far on Third; it’s just a snippet of a song though. Machine Gun is another beast of the record with digital distorted banging, its not to in your face but it’s the most hard to listen to tune here, its either brilliant or annoying I’m yet to decide. Magic Doors has its moments with its spaffed out drums and piano.

Portishead still have it in them after a lengthy break from making music and I for one am pleasantly surprised by Third. There are no massive tunes that make you go wow but it is a really good listening experience for dark moody nights.

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