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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Music Review: Portishead – Third

Music Review: Portishead – Third

For the first two minutes, I thought I was listening to the love-child of BT and Shadowy Men on and Shadowy Planet. Then the lyrics broke the dam and I was sucked in. It was better than their entire self-titled album. The psychedelic guitar never stopped, nor did the piano or the drums… chaotic and beautiful.

That basically sets the stage. The album is avante garde, dark, sexy and rhythmic. It’s not the make-out album that Dummy was (oh yes, if you’ve never spent an entire play-through of Dummy lip-locked then you’ve missed out). At times I was reminded of Queen Adreena, especially ‘Nylon Smile‘, but the sound still uniquely Portishead. Despite the rather dark sound (think Depeche Mode lite), the feeling isn’t really depressing or pushy. It’s more like a ghost story where the living are haunting the dead.

My biggest worry about this album was that it might sound over-produced, but I can thankfully (and gratefully) say that this is not the case. There are some parts of it that sound raw and real. The mix of acoustic guitar, synth, drums, keyboard and vocals are mixed together without regard to emphasizing anything less than the emotion of the music. The instrumental portions of the music are much stronger than on their previous albums, which is a pleasant surprise. The low point of the album is Deep Water, which sounds like a bizarre, gothic bluegrass song (that graciously only clocks in at 1:30). Small could possibly be the entire album squeezed into a 6:47 track, but thankfully it isn’t.

It sounds like the OST to the zombie apocalypse, wherein not only am I the hero but I also get laid. I leave that up to you to decide whether this is a good or bad thing.

4/5

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