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3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0016HNOXQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Silence
2. Hunter
3. Nylon Smile
4. The Rip
5. Plastic
6. We Carry On
7. Deep Water
8. Machine Gun
9. Small
10. Magic Doors
11. Threads

Product Description

Product Description

Hugely anticipated 2008 from the UK Electronic outfit. It's been ten long years since PNYC and the wait is over! Third is the 2008 album from Portishead. They are a trip-hop group from Bristol, England, named after the nearby town of the same name. 11 tracks.


Portishead's Third has been a long time coming, the result of a lengthy creative torpor following 1997's dark, distinctly underrated album Portishead. Importantly, though, they've shaken it. While the core trio of Beth Gibbons, Geoff Barrow, and Adrian Utley remains, this is quite a different band to Portishead's 90s incarnation: gone is the slo-mo turntable scratching and smoky jazz feel, replaced by heavy, brooding rhythms, vintage-sounding electronics, and spindly guitar. Still present, though, is that sense of emotional fracture and deep gloom. "Silence" opens with a dense drum loop which suddenly falls away to reveal Gibbons' voice, cold but magnificent: "Wounded and afraid, inside my head/Falling through changes". "Nylon Smile", meanwhile, is a fine example of Third's occasional folksy edge, an acoustic song reminiscent of Leonard Cohen that, around its midpoint, lifts off on a propulsive electronic rhythm, Gibbons holding one clear, hard note as synthesisers bubble beneath. At times, it's a harsh and foreboding listen: the electronic drums of "Machine Gun" might put off the listener hoping for smooth dinner party fare. But Third is a brave and forward-thinking return, and one great enough to justify its lengthy gestation. --Louis Pattison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In the mid-1990s, Bristol collective Portishead released two definitive albums - Dummy and its follow-up Portishead - then promptly went into hibernation, running scared of the era-defining trip-hop sound they had helped to shape.
For anyone that cares, Portishead are still made up of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley, just as they were back in 1994 when "Dummy" hit the streets.
It has taken them 11 years to produce another album, entitled "Third", which has moved on from previous offerings - the smoky trip hop sound that was the backdrop to many a chilled late night is gone - replaced by an altogether heavier, starker, darker flavour.
Singer Beth Gibbons' distinctive, vulnerable bluesy, sometimes unsettling but beautiful vocals remain etched across the album's songs from hammering drums, tribal beats, and weird, sometimes crazy samples.
The vulnerability and strength of the lady's voice really cements the record. It means that it still sound exactly like you remember Portishead sounding like, even though the musical backing is decidedly modern and much more sinister than anything the band tried in the happy-do-lucky days of the mid-90s.
The openers "Silence" and "Hunter" sound like the stuff of some Edwardian ghost story, contrasting with the pseudo French chanteuse affectation of "The Rip", finding Beth Gibbons wafting an edgy ethereal vocal over plucked acoustic guitars. It could only be Portishead. Beth Gibbons ponders whether white horses will ever whisk her away, while a beautiful bass melody works up to a soft gallop in the background.
Stand out tracks include the distinctive "Magic Doors" with piano chords, to the powerful hammering beats of the single "Machine Gun".
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 29 2008
Format: Audio CD
Long vanished from the music scene, Portishead have finally reemerged with a new album. Hallelujah for that.

But this isn't quite the same Portishead as before -- the music here is more raw, minimalistic and dark, with a ragged murky edge that replaces some of the trippiness. While its flavour is quite different from Portishead's earlier work (and this album is best heard with as few comparisons as possible) the beautifully bittersweet "Third" is a haunting experience on its own.

First, a man recites the Wiccan rule of three... in Portuguese. Not sure what that has to do with anything, really.

It's followed up by "Silence," a darkly vibrant mass of violins, urgent drumming and dark ripples of synth. But then it slows suddenly, and Beth Gibbons sings in a soft, fragile voice, "Tempted in our minds/Tormented inside lie/Wounded and afraid/Inside my head..." She adds in a wispy, plaintive voice, "Did you know when you lost?/Did you know when I wanted/Did you know when I lost...?"

By this point, you should have a pretty good idea what you'll think of "Third." Whether you love it or you hate it, you'll know.

The dark, fragile sound of that first song carries over into the fairylike "Hunter" with its growling guitars, and the songs that follow -- tense elusive pop laments, organ ballads riddled with weird flapping and echoing synth noises, satiny rattly piano-synth melodies, and even a light little acoustic song that sounds mildly out of place, but makes a nice little lightweight oasis in all the dark stuff. The album rounds out with "Threads'" bleak web of windy synth, crashing drums and eerie guitar.

The song that really doesn't fit in here is ironically the first single, the rather repetitive, jarring drum-a-thon that is "Machine Gun.
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Format: Audio CD
I love Portishead, and so when I purchased 'Third' I sat down excitedly to listen... and, like many others, was disappointed. I put the disc aside and never gave it a second thought for several months. After that time, I thought I'd give it a second chance. That time, 'The Rip' sort of grew on me. Subsequent listens revealed the awesomeness in 'Machine Gun' and 'Magic Doors'. Finally, the entire album as a whole revealed its beauty to me.

I'm not sure if you just have to be in the right state of mind for this one, but there is an awesome album in here. If you didn't like it the first time around, give it a second listen - it just might change your mind!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After more then ten years since their last release, Portishead returned to the spot light with their third album properly titled Third. But Portishead returned with a totally different sound, while retaining the overall dark atmoshere they would be known for from their 90's efforts. The use of samples is much more agressive on this album, most notably on the song "Machine Gun" which has Beth Gibbons screaming vocal harmonies over crashing machinery. "The Rip" is a beautifull acoustic balled that turns into a euphoric landscape of synth. Beth Gibbons vocal delivery throughout this album is truely chilling, and you won't hear her doing any of that weird Sean Connery stuff like on the last Portishead album. The song "Magic Door" shows off a unique percussion hook, and the song "Threads" is a sneaky peice that builds into a loud and vigorous roit where Beth is screaming over crashing percussion and roaring synths. I'd say that this is the best that Portishead has ever sounded, and further that this is one of the best albums of 2008.
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