Skip to content

Third – Portishead

Portishead Third


2008, 8.5/10
Portishead never officially broke up after 1997’s self-titled sophomore album, but Geoff Barrow struggled to find inspiration for a followup. The resulting album is very different in feel from its predecessors – Portishead abandon the trip hop beats and cinematic feel that served them so well on their first two albums for different textures. Beth Gibbons’ voice is still at the forefront, and it still feels like Portishead, but a Portishead that’s updated for the 21st century with new rhythms and textures to play with.

‘Silence’ is a foreboding opener, with a chilling introduction, and Gibbons’ vocal isn’t introduced until midway though the song. It’s easy to imagine a song like ‘Nylon Smile’ fitting on their previous albums, but overall there’s more diversity on Third than either of the previous Portishead albums. Most drastically, the brief ‘Deep Water’, is based around a ukulele and gospel like backing vocals, while the self-explanatory rhythm of ‘Machine Gun’ was generated by running a drum machine through an organ.

Third is an improbably strong comeback album from a group who seemed like they were very much tied to a specific musical movement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Sound Sniffer

Sniffing out the best new music


seeker of wisdom


or, Thoughts in Woods on Snowy Evening

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth

Up the Down Turn

Musings, Depression and Life Management

Alex Swift Blogging

opinions and analysis on media and entertainment, new and old

Diary of a Bassist

Musical musings of a bassist/power metal enthusiast

%d bloggers like this: