18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
An acquired taste,
This review is from: Third (Audio CD)
A decade in the making. So, we were expecting big things: and did it deliver?
Mention the name Portishead and you immediately associate the seductively haunting vocals of Beth Gibbons and a mix of music, known as Trip Hop or "The Bristol Sound" and you have 2 albums, both of a similar vein in the form of Dummy and Portishead.
So was Third more of the same?
No, and I'm delighted to say that, as even more repetition would have meant me wasting money on this album. Instead, we were treated to an album which could be compared to marmite itself. Loved by some, hated by others.
This album has gone for absolutely no middle ground whatsoever, almost making it sound as though the team have taken their every whim and put it into this album. At times we are given prog rock (Small), other times a riff that could have come straight out of the BBC Radiophonics Workshop, Pythonesque halting of tracks, and a track which as you listen to first sounds simply bizarre yet fast becomes addictive (Machine Gun). In between this can be found the familiarly haunting voice of Ms Gibbons and the trademark stylistic of the band.
If you are looking for a clone of Dummy (as some fans almost seem to have been hoping for) then you will be sorely disappointed.
It is a new century, and overall Portishead have introduced several new sounds to their repertoire: they are even more raw, edgy, and once you get over the initial surprise of the change, an absolute delight.
On my first listen I wasn't convinced, I thought that they had aimed too much at a niche. On my second it began to grow on me and I realised that it really is a very cleverly written album. Now it is an essential album in my collection.