Dummy

Dummy

4.6 22
by Portishead
     
 

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Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons, a.k.a. Portishead, make music that is comfortably nestled in the dark alleys, abandoned harbors, and extended shadows. Yes, they love film noir. (In fact, on their first American tour, they screened a short film in the style before performing.) However, unlike the oblique minor-key hard-bop jazz that accompanies noir flicks, Barrow and…  See more details below

Overview

Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons, a.k.a. Portishead, make music that is comfortably nestled in the dark alleys, abandoned harbors, and extended shadows. Yes, they love film noir. (In fact, on their first American tour, they screened a short film in the style before performing.) However, unlike the oblique minor-key hard-bop jazz that accompanies noir flicks, Barrow and Gibbons make insinuating, edgy music that is often labeled trip-hop. Barrow and producer Adrian Utley create spare backdrops that heighten the tension in Gibbons's vocals. She sings of torment, but her soprano teeters on the edge of an emotional explosion, never losing balance. Her ability to maintain such a delicate perch, and the band's cinematic soundscapes, gave this 1994 debut considerable mainstream appeal. Although they didn't march up the pop charts, the recording was in heavy rotation in almost every hip coffee bar, bistro, and bookstore in America. They would have become the poster children for trip-hop, but no poster could be shot so dark.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Portishead's album debut is a brilliant, surprisingly natural synthesis of claustrophobic spy soundtracks, dark breakbeats inspired by frontman Geoff Barrow's love of hip-hop, and a vocalist (Beth Gibbons) in the classic confessional singer/songwriter mold. Beginning with the otherworldly theremin and martial beats of "Mysterons," Dummy hits an early high with "Sour Times," a post-modern torch song driven by a Lalo Schifrin sample. The chilling atmospheres conjured by Adrian Utley's excellent guitar work and Barrow's turntables and keyboards prove the perfect foil for Gibbons, who balances sultriness and melancholia in equal measure. Occasionally reminiscent of a torchier version of Sade, Gibbons provides a clear focus for these songs, with Barrow and company behind her laying down one of the best full-length productions ever heard in the dance world. Where previous acts like Massive Attack had attracted dance heads in the main, Portishead crossed over to an American, alternative audience, connecting with the legion of angst-ridden indie fans as well. Better than any album before it, Dummy merged the pinpoint-precise productions of the dance world with pop hallmarks like great songwriting and excellent vocal performances.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/17/1994
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0042282855329
catalogNumber:
828553
Rank:
11977

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Dummy 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best cds out there. Beth's range is truly astounding. Trip-Hop at its best!! No doubt a classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD was given to me as a birthday gift. It has started a new music revelation for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It feels so good to listen to it when you feel like to be soothed...Her voice is so charming and kind of warm...It is one of the best album i've ever heard..
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is absolutely the best. I can listen to the entire cd over and over and I will never get tired of it. It's just so absolutely brilliant that everyone should go out and get a copy because it will definitely raise your standards.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Portishead is music for every mood. It is sexy, soothing, melancholy, & beautiful all at the same time. Put it on & enjoy the trip.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those Cd's that you could just listen to no matter what mood you're in and you just feel great when it's over..Are you tired of cd's that have one or two good tracks?..this one is great from start to finish..Beth Gibbons has the voice of an angel..she really takes my breath away...you know music is good when it gives you goosebumps... :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
heavy spy beats, beautiful vocals, great songwriting, and incredible guitar work all combine for the best trip hop album ever and one of the best ever in any genre. Ambient, heavy, soft, beautiful, disturbing- all in one cd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Provacative and dark, Portishead has always been a group to be thinking in mechanics that always move forward. This is some of the most innovative trip-hop around, not to mention dark. Drenched in emotions and pain, "Dummy" is everything but dumb: intelligent, thought provoking and futuristic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing. Hard to stop listening to. Love it. It's sexy, beautiful, serious. The album is almost overwhelming. The vocals are haunting and hypnotic; the music draws you in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an AMAZING album! Beth gibbons (vocals) has the most amazing voice that is captivating, haunting, sad,and so much more to the person listening. I love this CD and definitely recommend it!
Wallflowers1127 More than 1 year ago
I ordered 5 CDs from BN, which were supposed to be shipped and delivered via express mail. I was told Friday, at the latest. Next thing you know, it took an EXTRA WEEK!!! The CD itself was, as I had expected, GREAT. But I will NEVER purchase anything from BN.
SleazySqueeze More than 1 year ago
This album is very unique and very mysterious. It seems dark but fun at the same time. It's weird. Standout tracks for me are; "Mysterons," "Sour Times," "Roads," and "Glory Box." There were only two tracks that i didn't particularly care for, which were; "It's A Fire" and "Numb." Track by Track Rating: Mysterons - 5/5 Sour Times - 5/5 Strangers - 4/5 It Could Be Sweet - 4/5 Wandering Star - 5/5 It's A Fire - 2/5 Numb - 3/5 Roads - 5/5 Pedestal - 4/5 Biscuit - 4/5 Glory Box - 5/5 Overall - 4/5
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