Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Beth Gibbons voice is dished up over and over like the perfect counter-culture lunch served al fresco in a thunderstorm. She sounds disconnected, off-balance and slightly disturbed by the musical tracks around her. Her voice floats like a disembodied head through the haunted house that is her band's latest offering. And if that sounds bad, well then, you don't get the group and you're probably not a fan.

Many tracks have been displaced from my iPod to make room for newer, more novel tracks but the 13 from their 1994 trip-hop beacon Dummy, have remained.

11 years between releases is a long time but it was worth the wait. Third is not like their other releases. Gone are the bassy, scratchy backgrounds that seared them into the 1990s trip-hop era. Replaced by cleaner, stranger sound reps and straight drumlines that present themselves unadorned without apology.

I liked. Portishead still has an undeniable magnetism, if only for their stubborn refusal to sleep with formulaic success.

Portishead: Third

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