Sound — 10
For their third album, Portishead have moved away from trip hop to a more raw indusdtrial soud. The album seems to be much more interested in rhythm then melody. It all very experimental but it works brilliantly. 01. Silence - a great album opener. Long intro with a great drum beat and guitar work. And when Beth Gibbons vocals come in it's very powerful even though there is no much happening. 02. Hunter - the second track is more odd then the first track. This song has a disjointed feel to it but a great ending. 03. Nylon Smile - my least favorite track on the album. But it is still good though. Good drum beat to go with the backwards guitar. 04. The Rip - a fantastic song which is just mainly Beths vocals and an acoustic guitar. Halfway through, the song becomes quite Radiohead-esque as everything join in. 05. Plastic - what makes this song good is the cut up drum loop and the distorted guitar bit with the odd synth. I think this song is quite similar to Hunter. 06. We Carry On - my favorite song on the album. Brilliant synth bass riff, amazing vocals, grat guitar and effects and sublime drums. 07. Deep Water - how can a song a minute and a half long featuring a ukulele gete 10/10? When you listen to this song you will understand why. It works so well with the rest of the album and the vocoder bit is fantastic 08. Machine Gun - a very odd song. One sampled drum loop for 4 minutes with Beths singing. Still it is unbelievaly good. This song is what the whole album is about, raw industrial sound. 09. Plastic - the closest thing to old portishead on the album. Great jam section in the middle and as ever Beths vocal are fantastic. 10. Magic Doors - another brilliant song with really offbeat drums. The piano works well in the chorus but he best bit is the atonal saxophone solo in the middle which brings the song back perfectly. 11. Threads - the powerful ending tracks starts off quiet and build slowly to an amazing climax that fades out into a minute long guitar loop that bring the album to a close.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are close to perfect. Most of the lyric are troubling and haunting lyric and Beth Gibbons delivers them with gusto. The singing plays a big part on this album and her voice is treated like an instrument and they work perfectly with music. I think that the vocal highlight s of the album are The Rip, Machine Gun, Magic Doors and Threads. The vocodor backing vocals in Deep Water are brilliant too.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I think this album is absolutly fantastic. One of the best things about it is that it demands attention. It is not as easy to listen to as other Portishead album but if you give it repeated listen you find yourselve with one of the most rewarding albums ever made. All the songs are strikingly original and none of them sound quite the same. It also manages to be experimental without being self-indulgent which is impressive. I think that a couple of decades this album will be considered one of the best albums off all time and will have the legendary status of Dark side of the moon, Revolver, Kid A and The white album.