zBoneman.com -- Home

Music Reviews

"Third" by Portishead (2008)

"Third" by Portishead
See 3 P Ohhh





Released By:


Released In:


Reviewed By:

Kyle England

Reviewed On:

Thu May 8th, 2008



Buy this item at Amazon.com
zBoneman on Rotten Tomatoes

Eleven years after Portishead seemingly dropped off the face of the planet, the Trip-Hop pioneers are finally back with their highly anticipated third studio release. And really, after this much hoping and waiting for it to finally come out, what else could it be called other than Third?

Thank God that vocalist Beth Gibbons still has that voice that just cuts though your soul like a knife. And if you thought that a decade away from the group did her disposition any good well guess again because Third may be even more bleak than 1994's Dummy and that's saying something. Musically, Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley have come up with something far more icy and distant than Portishead's previous two records as well. Drum Machines and cold synth work have replaced the warm sampling and inviting instrumentation that Barrow brought to the table in the past and I won't lie, Third is a very difficult listen the first few times in.

After spending multiple spins on this, however, Third just keeps opening up more and more revealing that Portishead have crafted yet another stunning masterpiece; it's just not as instantly obvious right out of the gates. First single "Machine Gun" is a bevy of drum machine action and Gibbon's stark vocal delivery is the perfect match with this forlorn and harsh array of beats and keyboards. "The Rip" is also another one of my favorites here with its pulsating keyboard work and Utley's harrowing guitar which is probably the most menacing it has ever sounded yet on a Portishead song. But just like the other two Portishead records, Gibbons really is the key to the proceedings. You can't help but listen to a track like "Nylon Smile" and just want to reach out and give her a great big hug and tell her everything is going to be alright. I couldn't possibly imagine how hard it must be to sing songs this emotional because it must be incredibly draining. So draining in fact that it wouldn't surprise me at all if it took another ten years to get around to making a fourth. That's ok though because Third was certainly worth the wait.

:: zBoneman.com Reader Comments ::

Add your own comment here and see it posted immediately!
Name: e-Mail:
Spam Prevention Check:
Please enter the following code in the box below.
Security Image