Portishead - Dummy
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
1994 Ratings: #20 / 387
User Score
1994 Ratings: #4
Liked by 102 people
August 22, 1994 / Release Date
LP / Format
Go! Beat, London / Label
Portishead, Adrian Utley / Producer
Trip Hop / Genres
Sign In to rate and review



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.

Slant Magazine

Dummy, an album which undoubtedly conjures the thought of a person, place or sour time for its every listener, sounds just as groundbreaking today as it did eight years ago.

Entertainment Weekly

Beth Gibbons’ disembodied vocals float over Geoff Barrow’s lush production to create a debut that is as musically compelling as it is emotionally chilly.

This is, without question, a sublime debut album. But so very, very sad. These are avant garde ambient moonscapes of a ferociously experimental nature. In other words, seriously spooky shit.
This album comes thoroughly recommended to any fans of hip-hop (that's hip-hop music, not rap vocals), female soul vocalists, or anybody unfamiliar with trip-hop and who wants to experiment. It's not the best trip-hop album ever, but it's as good an introduction as any.
Rolling Stone

Assertive rhythms and quirky production ... save Portishead from languishing in any coy retro groove. Instead they manage yet another — very smart — rebirth of cool.

Lana Del Rey for people who are too sad for Lana Del Rey
portishead’s debut, ‘Dummy’, is a seminal collection of beth gibbons’ gorgeous voice and geoff barrow’s programming. he uses string arrangements with jazzy hip hop, and this helps utley’s work withbass.

‘dummy’ is the definitive trip-hop album.

during the recording process, geoff barrow taught sampling to adrian utley, whom taught gibbons and barrow fun things like the theramin and cimbaloms.

‘dummy’ is some of the best music ever ... read more
Angelic and soulful female vocals over slow, jazzy hip hop influenced beats? I think I found my new religion!

I heard Dummy about a full year ago but never got to revisiting it until now, and DAMN what a fine decision that was! With an outstanding combination of; sorry, I'll just repeat what I said above; angelic and soulful female vocals over slow, jazzy hip hop influenced beats, it creates such a chilling and spooky atmosphere that is just so engrossing. Someone pass me a dark coat and a ... read more
Amish life is not easy, but it's even more difficult when you have outsiders trying to ruin your day. I was going about, like a normal Amish citizen, harvesting some grain, when a goose-faced, wisecracking, suited old egg rattled his shaky bones from out of the forest, and over my way. I thought "Oh wonderous, another disturbed wrinkle suit halting my harvest." The old slobber-nut claimed to be a politician from out of state, which immediately sparked my disinterest. You see, here in ... read more
introduced to me at a young age by my parents, “Dummy” is a record with a near-perfect combination of artists. beth gibbons’ angelic, three-octave voice proves to be as versatile as needed, pushing the instrumentals to their sonic edge by knowing exactly where to fit in the mix. geoff barrow’s mood-setting keyboard playing proves to be an excellent display of theory knowledge and tonal decisions. the drums, also produced by barrow, turn a seemingly desolate set of ... read more
Purchasing Dummy from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?