Saturday, August 24, 2013

Portishead Third 2008

I know little or nothing about music classified as electronica, let alone the trip hop genre. But I'd heard so much about Portishead, and I do have Beth Gibbon's outstanding solo record (with Paul Webb, aka Rustin Man) Out Of Season from 2002. I was in one of those Exchange stores and there was an inexpensive used copy. What the heck.

It is a beautiful, spacey record that grows on you with repeated exposure. Gibbons is a compelling singer, and the grooves are deep, if not particularly soulful. Jeff Barrow's drums and programming and Adrian Utley's guitars and everything else produce dense layers of sound. The music has an apparently deliberate sterility, broken only by Gibbons achingly beautiful voice, and an occasional loud, distorted guitar.

It's inventive, it's tuneful, and it's very much unlike anything else. You don't really listen to it. Rather, it just washes over you.

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