Now that the album has been officially released, Musicology NYC will quickly cash in with an opinion on Portishead's "Third".
For ten years we have waited. For ten years we have expected Portishead to pick up exactly where they left off. The great thing about Third is the fact that it is not a continuation.
But it also is a necessary part of the Portishead equation. It feels as important as Dummy or Portishead, yet the album is worlds apart from the band's past.
Lost is the trip hop sound that they helped create and found is something new. Something different.
Third seems to be influenced by kraut rock, jazz and funk. And the sounds are fresh-spun in a way that only Portishead could.
Lyrically the album goes to darker placer than anything that has preceded it. There are many highlights including the gorgeous "The Rip". Which begins with an eerie wobble sound familiar to fans, but the track moves to a unusual spot as the song progresses. The album surprises at every turn including the harrowing "Machine Gun", with it's military like percussion.
The album closer "Threads" is the closest thing to Portishead of old, yet there is no hint of a hip-hop beat. It breathes more excitement into an already good album and as it ends it has you wanting more.
Hopefully we don't have to wait another ten years for another with the word Portishead attached to it.
4 of 5 stars