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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.0

Portishead
Third

Ten years. Ten whole fucking years to make one album.

Initially when I heard Portishead were making another album I just shrugged it off. Oh sweet, I thought, another old band getting back together and making a record because they need the money.

But the truth is Portishead never broke up. Up until this new album the band has been on hiatus.

Their first two albums were great, you know, they were fun. I mean they didn't really stand out for me, and yes, I'll admit, I found them at times a little boring. Trip hop seems... well... it seems so 90s. I think it's because I wasn't a teenager in 94 and that I've grown up listening to this stuff in retrospect. It's not really... uh... relevant?

Well, okay, I'm being a toss.

Portishead's first two albums were great. Really great. But not Mezzanine great. The songs just didn't seem to fit together. Maybe a little too clean, a little too safe?

Third, I can safely say, is the best thing I have heard this year. It is fragile, delicate and intricate. Opener Silence just happens, really happens in front of you. Guitar lines crack and sizzle around Gibbons' soft vocals, there's this drum beat that just fucking makes you want to grit your teeth it's so good. Then these strings flood the track and you're ears just want to implode.

Every track is a standout. Third is a perfect balance between sonic noise, electric and acoustic sounds. Portishead have accomplished what every band searches for: consistency in tone. The whole album just drips of atmosphere. Acoustic guitars replace synthesizers, drums echo in cavernous reverbs and Gibbons' vocals are never far from distortion or a slap delay.

Third lives up to its hype. It really takes you somewhere; somewhere not too far from Burial's Untrue or The Knife's Silent Shout. And it's not too removed from the band's first two efforts - Third still sounds like Portishead. Portishead with a darker twist.

And thank god there's no fucking vinyl scratching on this record.

You know what I mean.

Filed Under
Record Reviews
Portishead

 

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Comments

Sean

Seriously, this album is nuts. I'm starting to think this may be album of the year so far.

1 decade ago

Kasee Lara

Playing The Rip right now.

Will I folllowwwwwww?

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

i need to give it more time..

1 decade ago

flukazoid

Same. I keep waiting for the right moment to give it my full attention... I should make it happen soon

Looking forward to it. Early listens suggest great things

1 decade ago

monachilada

only just getting to listening to it now, but the first track is phenomenal. not particularly a fan though, so will be interesting if i can get into a whole album by them.

1 decade ago

flukazoid

dudes I just gave it the esteemed Proper Second Listening

it is PHENOMENAL
blew my head off
Beth really really puts across the persona of tortured lass well doesn't she?
I hope she's a little bit happier than that in real life...

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

like all portishead records.. i couldn't listen to this everyday..
but on the right day.. this is fucking awesome..

1 decade ago

monachilada

is it just me or does the end of machine gun sound like the end of terminator 2?

1 decade ago

flukazoid

if terminator had machine gun on the soundtrack (instead of an 80s rendition of "bad to the bone" or somesuch) it would automatically go up by two coolness points

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

does the first track end abruptly..
or do i have what is commonly known as 'a bad rip'

(insert bad bondi rescue joke here)

1 decade ago

Sean

i've not bought it yet...so i'm in the same boat as you...but at coachella it seemed to end abruptly as well.

have to pick this up on the weekend.

1 decade ago

flukazoid

no, it's how it's meant to be
(pulled down a second copy just to make sure)
(are there any stores that you've seen this on vinyl? I want to buy it this weekend)

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

i heard the packaging sucks

1 decade ago

Sean

this looks awesome:

http://bp0.blogger.com/_-DET4DQ6C4c/R-cGrPerL4I/AAAAAAAAAHs/cX8OEyJ6iMw/s1600-h/box.jpg

1 decade ago

Sean

bah....what are the url tags here?

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

whoa.. i take that back.. that looks nice.. maybe i was thinking of the CD packaging..

html sean.. heard of it n shit.. ?

1 decade ago

Sean

ME NO KNOW HTML

1 decade ago

flukazoid

packaging has never been Portishead's strong point

1 decade ago

flukazoid

heh, although that package does look nice... and I was (extremely) tempted
but there are only a select few bands that I'll blow $90 on an album for

1 decade ago

Sean

the backing vocals on Deep Water sound like they were recorded in 1928.

i mean that in a very very good way.

1 decade ago

monachilada

yeah, have been giving this a bit of a spin and am really liking it.
but whats with the banjo track thrown in the middle? is that supposed to be post-modern?
anyone quoting lines from that bedroom philosopher song gets banned forever.

1 decade ago

Sean

Album of the Year.

(so far)

1 decade ago

monachilada

sorry, its a eukelale.
as you were.

1 decade ago

troyox

I love machine gun, I know its repetive as all hell, but mesmerising.

1 decade ago

Sean

Machine Gun is terrifying after Deep Water.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

this album fucking sucks

1 decade ago

monachilada

i think im turning on it too.
too many 'hurry up and get to the good bit moments' and 4 minute explorations into how the decay settings work on the mixer.
i was doing the same thing in frooty loops. in 1999.

1 decade ago

Sean

weak.

1 decade ago

monachilada

i know you are sean, but what is portishead?

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

all of a sudden this fred gotz a bad case of 'the radz'

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

arcade machine in my office at work > third

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

bad remixes of bulls on parade > third

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

Angry Samoans > Third

the band (obvs)

BUT also a group of pissed off people from the independent state of Samoa

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

our arcade machine has WWF Superstars on it

Ultimate Warrior > Third

1 decade ago

flukazoid

Third > your mum

there we go, the thread has officially reached rock bottom. we can move on.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

ha..
i was only documenting my day Joe
it's the new 'blogging'

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

and now... a review

http://polaroidsofandroids.com/reviews/169/portishead-third.htm

thanks to our pal, Ivan

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

hm... now do we link this thread to the review - or start 'blank' with the one auto-generated when the review is made..??

ie. this one

thoughts?

1 decade ago

Kasee Lara

Linking is always good.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

yeh.. overwhelming response..
the review now lives at the top of this thread..

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

coming around on this record now..
given it a bit of a flogging this morning... when the mood is right is perfect

1 decade ago

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