Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I like my music to either add a cinematic quality to my day or make me happy. The new Portishead album does both. I bought it yesterday, a grey rainy spring day that brought a mist over the hills. I was angry about something that had happened at work the day before and on my way to get fingerprinted. The off-kilter insistent beats of Silence paired perfectly with Beth Gibbons' vocals.

The whole album makes me happy because it's been so long since Portishead has done anything. I remember the first time I heard them play was on Saturday Night Live, back in high school. I was 16, and my Metallica-loving boyfriend and I scoffed at the weird broken song. It was "Only You". I heard it again a couple of years later and it rocked my world.

I sought out more of their music and then became a fan of trip hop in general. UNKLE, Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, yum. Trip hop is good for adding a cinematic sound track to your freshman year if you are a Philosophy major looking at everything as a question and learning to smoke.

I really appreciate that Third is definitely Portishead, but the sound has grown up. (Maybe not the right phrase, but it sounds more mature and ten years are past, so that makes it grown up for me.) It's like some of the later Radiohead albums that evolve but are still clearly their music.

This is an album that definitely needs to be bought and listened to on a rainy day is bed with a book and red wine or your beautiful but tragic lover who will only hurt you in the end.

This is not on Third (could only find the NPR link), but another one of my favorite songs.

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