Portishead - Third

2008-12-04 12:07
Portishead Third album cover
This fear and fascination with The Other within our walls (or inhabiting our body as black goo) needed a soundtrack, and Portishead is one of the best they made, with Beth Gibbons' vocals weaving a spiderweb between the desolate post-industrial metal and glass skyscrapers of Geoff Barrow’s beutifully creepy arrangements. It was all about anxiety, doubt, trust nobody. Sex was an ache, love an existential crisis and a form of possession.

Anyone expecting something thematically different in Third will be disappointed. While they’ve left trip-hop behind to die in the 90s with Tricky, and taken an acidic-rock feel blended with ambient madness, they’re still the same band - playing Portishead fast is kind of like speeding up an Irish drinking song: someone still dies by the end of the track.

- Jean Barker

When we think of the 90s, most of think of grunge. But the 90s was also the time of the Sci-Fi revival in Western culture, when, without any real "other" to fear, The X-Files and thousands of paranoid geeks sought the enemy within.

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