by PortisheadPortishead


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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 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/17/1994
Label: Polygram Records
UPC: 0042282855329
catalogNumber: 828553
Rank: 36512

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