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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glory box
Trip-hop was never so dark and magnificently despairing as it is here. Portishead draws listeners into a velvety abyss in debut album "Dummy," a glorious blend of jazzy instrumentation, subtle electronica, and Beth Gibbons' sweet moaning vocals.
"Mysterons" opens with an chilly, ghostly air, followed by the exotic despair of "Sour Times" and the jazzy, eerie...
Published on 18 Jan 2006 by E. A Solinas

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A recomendation
Was recommended but not for me thought it was a fault with the c.d as was so unique loved the girl singing though very soulful but the music was anything but relaxing to me, sorry as my son said it is a highly respected piece ?
Published 4 months ago by Mavee


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glory box, 18 Jan 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
Trip-hop was never so dark and magnificently despairing as it is here. Portishead draws listeners into a velvety abyss in debut album "Dummy," a glorious blend of jazzy instrumentation, subtle electronica, and Beth Gibbons' sweet moaning vocals.
"Mysterons" opens with an chilly, ghostly air, followed by the exotic despair of "Sour Times" and the jazzy, eerie "Strangers" and "Wandering Star." Portishead delves into pure trip-hop in the pulsing "It Could Be Sweet" and "Numb," then synthesizes strings and stately organ in "It's A Fire," before wrapping things up with the steady lament "Glory Box," with its undulating riffs.
A noir feel permeates "Dummy," giving a grounded feel to the spacier edges of the music. It's easy to imagine trenchcoats, smoky offices, rainy days and femme fatales set to this music. It's soaked in melancholy and dreamy depression, set to music.
The blend of lounge music and trip-hop could have been awkward, but it blends seamlessly. The Rhodes and magnificent Hammond organ are the core of the silky unearthly sound, adding an epic feel to many of the songs. At the same time, the flexible guitar riffs and jazzy percussion bring it down to earth. And the Hammond does double-time as a jazz instrument as well, even when paired with strings.
Beth Gibbons's vocals are outstanding: high and clear and sweet, except in "Strangers," where she sounds like her voice is being filtered through an old radio. She pours plenty of emotion into the despairing lyrics. The songs themselves are simple and evocative, with loneliness and regret dripping from them. ("The salvation I desire/Keeps getting me down")
Jazz and trip-hop blend seamlessly into the beautiful haunting whole that is "Dummy." A beautiful experience, and one of the best albums of the 1990s.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genre defining classic, 15 Mar 2006
By 
David Johnson "El Burrito" (Buenos Aires) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
This beautifully haunting record is one of those indispensables that any serious music fan has in their collection. I remember being completely blown away by the originality the first time I heard it. The punchy, nuerotic beats and the cold distant voice of Beth Gibbons. I guess if you could refer to trip-hop as a genre, this has to be it´s signature album.
"Mysterons," sounds like a martian landing, Gibbon´s distinctive voice unfurls the track with a steely brittleness. This music sounds purposefully distant and edgy. I like the curling beat on the second track,"Sour times." My personal favourite has to be the intro to the pulsating beat on,"strangers."
"It´s a fire," is the only track that sounds slightly out of place. It is the only track on the album that sounds like something you may have heard before.
The ranging,"Roads," is another extremely inventive track that preludes the classic,"glory box." Gibbons sounds like a battered, wounded woman on this song. Her lyrical approach is totally unique.
What more can I say about this? It´s engaging, strangely distant but at the same time thoroughly seductive. A must buy.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic, 20 Jan 2003
By 
doublegone (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
Quite simply this is one of the finest cds of the 1990s. The mood, arrangements and performances are quite astonishing.
Beth Gibbons sings the blues, backed up by a blending of sampled loops, hip-hop doodles and live instruments.
It defined the sub genre of Trip Hop. It contains elements of 60s soundtrack, jazz and goodness knows what else.
In Sour Times and Glory Box it also boasts amongst the finest songwriting of its generation. As has been proved by artistes like John Martyn (who covered Glory Box) this stuff does not need its classy fururistic arrangement to stand. These songs would shine with just an acoustic guitar backing.
Mind-bogglingly good, and a must-have.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, heart-breaking, dream-like magick tor chilling., 29 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
I heard this late last night at a friend's flat, and couldn't speak from start to finish! Frighteningly good, this CD demands your attention and your heart, mainly because of the stark and haunting emotional vocals. That's not to say the music is not totally in-keeping, well executed and highly imaginative too.
I have no idea how I missed this CD before now, as I am a great fan of Massive Attack, but I thank heaven that I know about it now, and have ordered it today. I thoroughly recommend that you do the same - if you do, you are in for a real treat. I fully expect to be listening to this CD until the day I die and hopefully after that too, as this is truly music from heaven itself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those exceptional albums, 18 April 2014
By 
Sussman "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
Dummy is the debut album of the Bristol-based group Portishead. Dummy is one of those CDs that still sounds as fresh as the day that it was released. So what's all the fuss about? Well basically, it's one of those exceptional albums where almost every single beat seems to be in place, every single little record scratch and sample fits into the mix and provides even more atmosphere, and lyrics that just melt in your mind. Each track really does create a new atmosphere of its very own that runs the range of emotions. Beth Gibbons is one of the main reasons this album truly comes to the fore. Gibbons effortlessly creates mood on every track, whether she's crooning on "It Could Be Sweet" or strutting it out to full effect on "Glory Box." Overall, if you're into trip-hop even the slightest and don't own this album, you should probably drop whatever you're doing and go out and buy it right now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting the past, 5 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
Had this album on vinyl and had a sudden urge to hear it again (record player no longer up to it). This album has content and themes that have been much emulated over the years; it is still as good today as it was then. And to have the downloadable version too is a real bonus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful album!!!, 24 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dummy (MP3 Download)
I owned this in the mid nineties when it first came out - i loved it and played it all the time... i don't what happened to my copy of (it was a tape in those days!) but it vanished along the way somewhere....so at last i decided it was time to get this wonderful music back into my life - and i'm VERY glad i did!
This album is just incredible, so chilled, so lovely, multifaceted, amazing music - easily the best Portishead album, the others were good too, but not THIS good....can't be beaten...BUY IT! <3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 21 July 2008
By 
This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
Hmmm, how does one sum up this album in just a few words? Dark, mysterious, melodic, industrial, melancholic, desolate - any or all of these apply. Others have already waxed lyrical about the 'feel' of the album, but I think you really have to listen to it - all of it. Maybe even a few times, as it took a few listens for me to really 'get it'.
As soon as I did 'get it' I totally loved it, and it remains one of the most frequently played albums in my collection even after nearly 15 years.
Never bettered or even equalled by Portishead since in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful album-I urge you to buy it!, 14 July 2008
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This review is from: Dummy (Audio CD)
This album is absolutely brilliant. Vocally, it is pure genius, and musically it is perfectly timed. I have just bought this album, as a replacement for the one I lost in my mispent teenage times! It`s jst as great as I remember it being (unlike many of my music purchases of the 90`s)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius, 2 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Dummy [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This beautiful album was named as the best album of 1994 by melody maker. Smooth, chilling vocals from Beth Gibbons mixed with pure musical poetry make this album a must for any collector.
The album samples mucical greats such as Smokey Brookes, Weather Report, Eric Burdon, Johnnie Ray, and Isaac Hayes.
Portishead push you into a fragile world of tranquility with epics such as "numb" and "Biscuit".
However, no track alone can be singled out on this album. It simply is, as stated above: Pure Genius.
The record has such acclaim, it is hard to get your hands on an original release:
If you see it, buy it. (expect to pay up to 35 for a record of high grade).
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Dummy
Dummy by Portishead (Audio CD - 1999)
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