by Portishead
4.7 16


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Portishead's debut album, Dummy, popularized trip-hop, making its slow, narcotic rhythms, hypnotic samples, and film noir production commonplace among sophisticated, self-consciously "mature" pop fans. The group recoiled from such widespread acclaim and influence, taking three years to deliver its eponymous second album. On the surface, Portishead isn't all that dissimilar from Dummy, but its haunting, foreboding sonic textures make it clear that the group isn't interested in the crossover success of such fellow travelers as Sneaker Pimps. Upon repeated plays, the subtle differences between the two albums become clear. Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley recorded original music that they later sampled for the backing tracks on the album, giving the record a hazy, dreamlike quality that shares many of the same signatures of Dummy, but is darker and more adventurous. Beth Gibbons has taken the opportunity to play up her tortured diva role to the hilt, emoting wildly over the tracks. Her voice is electronically phased on most of the tracks, adding layers to the claustrophobic menace of the music. The sonics on {|Portishead">Portishead">{|Portishead would make it an impressive follow-up, but what seals its success is the remarkable songwriting. Throughout the album, the group crafts impeccable modern-day torch songs, from the frightening, repetitive "Cowboys" to the horn-punctuated "All Mine," which justify the detailed, engrossing production. The end result is an album that reveals more with each listen and becomes more captivating and haunting each time it's played.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/30/1997
Label: London / Umgd
UPC: 0731453918924
catalogNumber: 539189
Rank: 56520

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Portishead   Primary Artist
Steve Cooper   Violin
Clive Deamer   Drums
Nick Ingman   Conductor
Ken Thorne   Sampling
Adrian Utley   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Moog Synthesizer,fender rhodes
Geoff Barrow   Drums
John Baggot   Organ,Piano
John Cornick   Trombone,Horn
A. Hague   Horn
Hookers & Gin   Sampling
S. Atkins   Vocals
B. Waghorn   Horn

Technical Credits

Portishead   Producer
Nick Ingman   Orchestration,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Adrian Utley   Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Dave McDonald   Producer,Engineer
Geoff Barrow   Producer
Beth Gibbons   Producer
Trevor Curwen   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Portishead 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Theeago More than 1 year ago
One of the bests trip hop albums of all the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beth Gibbons has a voice that is soft yet enchanting. This group from England is nothing I have ever heard before, at first I wasn't sure about them. After listening to them for a while you begin to understand the deeper meanings.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Their Trip hop sound and CRAZY beats mellow me out and pump me up at the same time. Deep dark lyrics .... veryy sexyyy....
Suesie More than 1 year ago
This is a great cd, of course no artist can compair to a first "hit" record, Dummy was just an orgazim to the ears, and this record is the mood building up to the climax... its will put together and Beth has a voise i could only drema to have... her sound and tone and lyrics are haunting... the first time i saw them was on SNL, i was hooked... it wont ever compair to Dummy... but it isnt a let down either.. 5 stars.. great music by a great band.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I feel rather gauche and obscure admitting this, but I only happened upon Portishead a handful of months ago. I’m a dight promiscuous in the realm of music – I’m pretty much always up for something different and nothing is too clashing or contradistinct so as to elude me. Enter my fresh obsession with Portishead. .............. I’m deeply impressed – dark, melancholy, a shade morose and gloomy, but also poignantly soft, subtle and all around silky-sweet … almost, dare I say, delicate. I’ve heard tell of this album being described as exuding a mellow, yet piquantly moody, sci-fi aura. I couldn’t agree more – it bleeds eerie and alien black, a delish compliment to any morbid, macabre mind, but it also endears itself quite seductively to the hopeless romantic with a weeping, prettily polished forties feel. Or, at least that is the impression I’m under. ............... Beth is absolutely fabulous juxtaposed with the beautifully heady, brooding backdrop of crisp percussion, retro brass and writhing tempo. It isn’t often, unfortunately, that we are appreciated such an eloquence, and when we are, it leaves quite the imprint, don’t you know. It is uncanny how natural a match she is to this music. Sheer brilliance. ............... It is hard finding words befitting of this album. It is so many things, but one thing it is not is dull. It is bewitchingly intelligent and a salad bar for the emotions – it is utterly soul-shattering. It is a little more strange then you’re used to, but it is a good kind of strange … the kind of strange that leaves you dazed and breathless, curiously asking yourself, “where have I been?”
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just like their CD 'Dummy', this one offers the same amazing beats and rhythms. Beth Gibbons has a haunting voice that gives me chills. Check out 'All Mine' 'Only You' and 'Cowboys'...these are my favs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This band is by far the most diverse and also brilliant artists of the 90's. Their work is so different to anything else out there, every song has been written without any thought of what the critics would say. In my opinion their brilliance was also there downfall. This album will sooth your soul and mend your aching heart, one of the top 10 albums of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No one can deny Portishead their Glory. The songs on this album are the soundtrack's to the conclusion of one's suffering. It's best if you listen when the sun is going down outside in a park or on a deserted pathway. Also when a party has died down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Their alblum definately deserves all credit. With the dark, artistic lyrics and trip-hop sound they've become a ''music'' of their own. Shy of the media, they have and will, in the end, truly succede in changing inspiration as we know it.
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