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Portishead -


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1 Mysterons

2 Sour Times

3 Strangers

4 It Could Be Sweet

5 Wandering Star

6 It's a Fire

7 Numb

8 Roads

9 Pedestal

10 Biscuit

11 Glory Box

October 14, 1994

The blues can be seen as a genre or as an attitude. The blues attitude is still alive, even though it's changed a lot over the years. In the early 90's, blues was adopted by heavy metal, and grunge was formed. In the 80's, blues was adopted by punk, and emo was formed. Also in the 90's, blues was adopted by electronica, and trip-hop was formed. Portishead is, in my opinion, the album Robert Johnson would make if you gave him a female singer and a turntable.

Portishead make very minimalist trip hop music. You could say they are the White Stripes of the electronica scene. Geoff Barrow creates mildly spooky and atmospheric beats that put a big focus on Beth Gibbons' vocals. If you think that electronica is incapable of displaying emotion, listen to Gibbons' hauntingly beautiful falsetto,and I bet you'll think differently. The combination of Barrow's creepy beats and Gibbons vocals create a truly chilling music experience. Themes such as tough times and loneliness are found in a lot of songs on "Dummy," and the mood is so solemn and dark that I can't imagine listening to this album on a sunny day. The perfect atmosphere for "Dummy" is inside a small, damp, lonely coffee shop, on a grey March afternoon with rain pouring down the windows like tears. It's also great music to listen to on a first date! :laughing: I'm not trying to make "Dummy" seem soul-crushingly depressing. You don't get the impression that Beth Gibbons wants to kill herself or anything. What you get is a sense of emptiness, bleakness, and bareness from Portishead. Besides creating the aura of a rainy day, Portishead also create the aura of a cold and dry Halloween night.

Portishead is not for everyone. They are trip hop, but they don't blow your mind. They are an electronica group, but they are minimal. They are angst ridden, yet they are not heavy. Portishead is for those who can appreciate an atmosphere brought on almost entirely by songwriting with very little help from a lot of electronic instruments (relative to most electronica, of course). Portishead is for driving to school on a Monday morning in the middle of January. Portishead is for listening at 2 in the morning. Portishead is for the grey sky.

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i LOVE this album - it's one of my favourites. for those who think they don't recognise it, 'glorybox' is probably the most famous song with the refrain:

give me a reason to love you,

give me a reason to be a woman,

i just wanna be a woman

the sample they use was also sampled by the 411 in their song 'teardrops'.

the second most well-known song would probably by 'sour times':

nobody loves me, it's true,

not like you do.

i love singing beth gibbons' music. 'roads' is probably my favourite track, although i find it very hard to choose!

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I remember this album/group from back when it came out, in early '95 MTV would play the Sour Times video as a Buzz-Clip, along with a bunch of other cool vids at the time, like Elastica & Filter & Matthew Sweet. Whenever Singled Out with jenny mccarthy wasn't running in consecutive marathons.

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Portishead is awesome...their songs always evoke an emotional response. Biscuit is one of my favorites from Dummy. I also have PNYC and an album of remixes. What got me hooked on them was the video for Only You (Chris Cunningham did the video and is awesome!)

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I only really "discovered" Portishead last year (after listening to "Glorybox"), but since then Dummy was and is an essential part of my music collection...

and besides the obviously great already Glorybox and Sour Times my favourites are Mysterons and Wandering Star :thumbsup:

The perfect atmosphere for "Dummy" is inside a small, damp, lonely coffee shop, on a grey March afternoon with rain pouring down the windows like tears.

PS fantastic review Batman :bow:

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I read about a secret sneak-preview concert in Berlin for journalists only, and it seems that they were all pretty excited about the album, they wrote their sound didn't seem to have changed much :)

also, I didn't know that Beth Gibbons (the "Sphinx") is a quite elusive one...

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