Portishead - Third (4 stars)




No one ever really expected Dummy MkII did they? For trip hop – the smoky sub-genre Portishead inadvertently helped create – is a distant, smouldering ember but Third is glorious, odd and timeless, a record of clanking, throbbing, grinding, bubbling machine music counterbalanced by Beth Gibbons’
soulful heart.

The motorik hum of ‘We Carry On’ is a distant cousin of the Scouse eccentrics Clinic while ‘The Rip’ grows from acoustic campfire ballad into a lustrous Kraftwerkian pulse. ‘Deep Water’ is Beth Gibbons in playful mood, with only the twang of a ukulele and a choir for company. Only the soporific plod of ‘Threads’ specifically evokes memories of Dummy. References aside, however, it’s important to note that these songs are pretty much all tremendous.

It’s rare for people to make records of such singular vision these days and Third is a triumph in that it sounds like nothing other than Portishead.

Take a listen to Portishead's Third on last.fm.


Leaders of the Bristol trip hop movement (alongside Massive Attack and Tricky) return after 11 years with new album 'Third'.

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