4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Give this the space it needs,
This review is from: Third (Audio CD)
Having read a number of reviews of this album, I nearly didn't buy it. The reviews were mixed at best with some very harsh comments about the style. Fans can be fickle and a new offering often raises expectations and can easily disappoint those that loved what came before. OK, Dummy it is not, but imagine the comments if Portishead had produced more of the same. I buy albums by bands like Portishead because I need something more challenging within my collection. Third sits alongside albums like Thom Yorkes The Eraser, which was equally 'unconfortable/beautiful/haunting' to listen to, and I think this is what has upset a some listeners. Third is a beautiful album that works best when 'viewed' as a whole, yes there are tracks which have 'instant' appeal such as the beautiful and haunting The Rip, but the album needs time to be enjoyed and should be listened to as a whole piece to allow it to draw you in to its world. It is a cross over album that blends a lot of styles, without sounding like any of them making it difficult to put in a 'box'. This is Portisheads sound, Beth Gibbons voice is stunning and fits the context of the album perfectly. The sound is cinematic and beautifully produced, sounding uncluttered but with enough depth to draw you right in, and deserves to be given enough time to be enjoyed. This could not have been achieved with a collection of 'obvious' singles, padded out with sub standard filler or by re visiting Dummy.
Third is the perfect soundtrack to these uncertain times. Give it space, turn out the lights, close your eyes and let Portishead take you on a journey, allow Third to take you to where it needs you to go, rather than the route you expected it to take and you will not be disappointed. I am greatful to bands like Portishead who I hope will continue until they have said what they need and then, like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland will vanish.....leaving nothing remaining but........a smile.