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TLDRIDKJKLOLFTW
03-11-2008, 07:12 PM
So the new Portishead album has leaked - I'm not sure when the "official" release date is at this point - and I've given it a good, hard listen.

It's outstanding. I'm so pissed that I have to admit this, because after the 11-year gap (God, I'm so old) since the self-titled album, there's absolutely no way that this record should be this good. Whenever bands take a ridiculously long time to make a followup to a legendary record, the new release cannot live up to the expectations. Even worse, the new record usually sounds like it could have been recorded during the exact same sessions as the previous one, with absolutely no justification for the gap between the two.

But Portishead has done neither; Third is just outstanding. It's an entirely new sound for the band, though it's immediately recognizable as Portishead; that is, their collective personality comes through and it has the vibe of one of their records without sounding like "just another Portishead record." It's a very "roomy" record - lots of live instruments recorded with people playing them together in a room (or more likely a wry facsimile, knowing Barrow and Utley's penchant for using consciously "meta" recording techniques) - even synthesizers and bass sound like they were run through amplifiers and mic'ed in a room. At the same time, there are many obvious nods and instances of "breaking the fourth wall" when it comes to these "live" takes - ringing, loose, human drums will suddenly be chopped up and unnaturally gated or edited, while Beth Gibbons' vocals will stutter and loop on certain notes with as much authority and ribbon microphone warmth as her straight leads.

The songs and sounds are all over the place; though the old, dark Portishead vibe is still intact, nothing on the record falls into the same John Barry-fueled trip hop noir mold. There are acoustic tracks - one in particular ("Deep Water") sounds like the Velvet Underground's "After Hours" with a 78 rpm gospel twist. "Machine Gun" sounds like its title, all stuttered noise blasts and distorted 909 snares for percussion with the rest of the sounds being made entirely by Beth Gibbons' voice until the Blade Runner polysynth-fueled finale. The one song that sounds like it could have come from one of the earlier records, "Plastic," almost acts as a sly acknowledgment or pastiche of their earlier work, coasting along on bass pulses, minor-key organ, a loose ride-heavy drum beat, but then each sound is gradually dynamited and destroyed over the course of the song, perhaps a nod to the future.

Probably the album of 2008 so far. I can't wait for it to get a legit release.

Hey, It's That Guy!
03-11-2008, 07:18 PM
I've heard that it comes out in early April. I'm a HUGE Portishead fan, so I'm glad to hear that you liked it, since I respect your taste in music. I keep hearing they have a more "raw," industrial, hard-edged sound here, and I'm not sure what I think about that. A lot of people are saying it works perfectly, though.

I figure that I've waited this long for another new release, I can wait another month or so without tracking down any leaks. I'll probably even buy the CD instead of digital tracks through iTunes or Amazon, just because I love Beth, Geoff, and Adrian so much.

TLDRIDKJKLOLFTW
03-11-2008, 07:30 PM
I certainly wouldn't call anything about the new record "industrial" or "hard-edged," but that rawness - the looseness, the "live band" sound - definitely comes through. It's like they made a Steve Albini record or something.

"Machine Gun" (http://youtube.com/watch?v=TeyoP_qmv6I) is up on YouTube if you want to hear it.

woodstockbirdybird
03-11-2008, 07:41 PM
Excellent news. I'm looking forward to this.

interface2x
03-11-2008, 10:27 PM
I haven't listened as closely as I'd like, but so far I'm enjoying "Machine Gun", "We Carry On", and "The Rip" the best. I already knew the first two from Youtube videos, though. I still have to give the album more attention.

So far, though, I still prefer the new Goldfrapp as the best of 2008 up until now.

Salmo Trutta
03-11-2008, 11:07 PM
Portishead is one of those bands that I'm pretty sure I'd like if I gave them a listen. I tend to trust and, for the most part, share the musical tastes of those that praise them.

So should I wait for this new album to drop or is there one that's a good "starter" album?

I hope this question doesn't open up too big a can of worms! Of course, the album title is "Third" so I'm assuming there are only two now. How big can the can or the worms possibly be?

By the way, I listen to a lot of wierd shit. Accessability may not predicate the best starter album in this case. I'm looking for quality.

Hey, It's That Guy!
03-11-2008, 11:26 PM
Dummy and the self-titled follow-up, Portishead, are two of my favorite albums of the '90s. I highly recommend them if you like your music dark and sexy.

xiix
03-12-2008, 12:16 AM
wow, thanks for the heads up!!!

Cisco
03-12-2008, 01:11 AM
"Machine Gun" (http://youtube.com/watch?v=TeyoP_qmv6I) is up on YouTube if you want to hear it.
Oh that is not at all what I expected. I thought I liked Portishead - I definitely like the song Teardrop but I thought I remembered liking them beyond that. [deleted]

Actually I'm sorry, I shouldn't say that in a thread created to praise them. This is simply not for me.

Baron Greenback
03-12-2008, 01:32 AM
Oh that is not at all what I expected. I thought I liked Portishead - I definitely like the song Teardrop but I thought I remembered liking them beyond that. [deleted]



Teardrop is a Massive Attack song.

Cisco
03-12-2008, 01:37 AM
Teardrop is a Massive Attack song.
Shows what I know. But the girl from Portishead does sing it, right?

Funny thing: someone just asked me less than a week ago if I like Portishead and I said yes. I wonder who I'm getting them mixed up with.

Indistinguishable
03-12-2008, 01:40 AM
Shows what I know. But the girl from Portishead does sing it, right?

Funny thing: someone just asked me less than a week ago if I like Portishead and I said yes. I wonder who I'm getting them mixed up with.
The Cocteau Twins, I'm guessing. (Their lead singer, Elizabeth Fraser, is the one who sings Teardrop)

jnglmassiv
03-12-2008, 05:57 PM
Dummy and the self-titled follow-up, Portishead, are two of my favorite albums of the '90s. I highly recommend them if you like your music dark and sexy.Ya, ditto. I'm gonna say Dummy is among my top 5 all-time albums. I worked at a coffee shop 1996-1998 or so and we played that CD over and over. It really set the mood we (ok, the teenaged, independant-minded employees, not the franchise owner or the corporate office)) we going for. If Dummy, Tribe's Midnight Mauraders, and Barrington Levy's hits don't get people into the coffee shop, what will?

I've only heard Machine Gun from the new record and I have to say that I find it terribly abrasive. Winceworthy, I'm afraid. Still looking forward to hearing more new material, though.

It was only recently that I learned Handsome Boy Modeling School's The Truth with Roisin Murphy wasn't Portishead. Sounds just like their stuff.
Link (http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fkwr2BlEsA) I'm not responsible for and didn't even watch the apparently political video in the link.

Shamozzle
03-12-2008, 06:25 PM
...SNIP
So should I wait for this new album to drop or is there one that's a good "starter" album?SNIP...
"Dummy" is so god-damn ridiculously good that you will just want to start punching stuff. It's quite amazing.

You know what else is good? Their "Roseland New York" live DVD. Freaking outstanding.

Frylock
03-12-2008, 06:31 PM
"Dummy" is so god-damn ridiculously good that you will just want to start punching stuff. It's quite amazing.


That's funny--I once told a band they were so good it made me angry. I've never quite understood the reaction, but its good to know I'm not alone in having it.

-FrL-

Nzinga, Seated
03-12-2008, 06:38 PM
Holy shit, it's leaked? Didn't even read the rest of this thread. Gonna go back and read it now. I am so excited about this, my skin is goosebumping. Please, please, please, don't let them disappoint me.

Nzinga, Seated
03-12-2008, 06:44 PM
Oh, yeah. Lovin Machine Gun. Perfect. Can't wait to check out the rest. Thank you very much, TLDR

Yookeroo
03-13-2008, 12:42 AM
Funny thing: someone just asked me less than a week ago if I like Portishead and I said yes. I wonder who I'm getting them mixed up with.
Maybe you liked Dummy era Portishead like "Glory Box" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF-GvT8Clnk) or "Roads" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8us3432lh4M)? Less "abrasive" than "Machine Gun".

Helen's Eidolon
03-13-2008, 01:40 PM
I adore Portishead - they can do no wrong. Thanks for the heads-up on the new album!

mswas
03-13-2008, 03:10 PM
This album sounds unmastered. It's good and I am only into the first track, but it does sound unmastered.

jjimm
03-13-2008, 05:23 PM
"Dummy" is so god-damn ridiculously good that you will just want to start punching stuff. It's quite amazing.

Thirded, fourthed, whatever. It's one of the few albums in existence that I am happy to label, without qualification, "perfect". Sends shivers up my spine it's so fucking good. I used to think this was because the first time I heard it was in an isolated, atmospheric gorge in the middle of the mountains in China, but twelve years on, I realise it's actually because it's utterly sublime.

lissener
03-13-2008, 06:33 PM
Pretty awesome. Listening to this reminds me that Radiohead, as thoroughly original as their synthesis of influences is, did not arise in a vacuum. That plus the recent Goldfrapp has served to remind me how interrelated all these music influences can be . . . and that Kate Bush is still relevant.

Dogzilla
05-03-2008, 06:14 PM
Is this thread too old to resurrect?

The album released on 04.29.08. I got it from iTunes after catching a "Soundstage" on MTVHD that showed them performing this in studio.

Lurve it.

Salon.com wrote a review that made it sound like it wasn't a very good album. Clearly, the reviewer didn't know wtf he was talking about.

I hope there's a U.S. tour.

Wee Bairn
05-03-2008, 07:01 PM
Darn, I got all excited seeing this on the front page thinking VCO3 had been reinstated.

gallows fodder
05-04-2008, 11:47 AM
I haven't read the Salon.com article (yet), but I'll go stand with those who are disappointed. I mean, it's sonically pleasant and everything, but a lot of the songs are just...kinda weak. Like "Machine Gun" -- all it's got going on is that rat-a-tat beat. Comparing this album to their two earlier works highlights just how simple/simplistic it is. Which on its own isn't necessarily a flaw, but when you're used to and expecting the sonic richness they've showed in the past, it's a bit of a let-down.

Maybe I just need to listen to it some more.

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