Monday, December 08, 2008

2008 Top-20 Countdown - No.13

Portishead - Third
Unimaginatively named, with a minimal cover, the third album from the Bristol group that defined the sound of a generation was a long time coming. Eleven years after their namesake CD, Portishead put behind all that made their sound what it was: vinyl scratching, jazzy atmosphere, torch song sensibility; no, not really all. The gloomy feeling permeating their sound, the sense of loss and despair still remains, and this is essentially what Portishead are. Intense industrial rhythms, electronics that sound vintage (with a vengeance), frail guitars, dominate the sonic landscapes alongside the now cold and desperate voice of Beth Gibbons. This is no record to play as a soundtrack in elegant design restaurants. It hits you right to the core and breaks your heart in a way that only Portishead know how to do. And if you don't understand how, maybe you should check to see if your heart is still in place...

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