Portishead - Dummy
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
1994 Ratings: #18 / 382
User Score
1994 Ratings: #4
Liked by 51 people
October 17, 1994 / Release Date
LP / Format
Go! Beat / Label
Trip Hop / Genres
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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
how does one start a review of what may be their favorite album in existence ??portishead’s debut, ‘Dummy’, is a seminal collection of beth gibbons’ gorgeous voice and barrow’s programming. he uses string arrangements with jazzy hip hop; helping utley’s work with bass

geoff barrow taught sampling to adrian utley; whom taught gibbons and barrow weird stuff like the theramin and cimbaloms

THE definitive trip-hop album; sampling and production REALLY goes off ... 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
I remember my uncle giving me a 32GB USB stick full of albums for my thirteenth birthday and this album being a highlight for me. Even to this day I love this band to death. One of these days I'm going to find this on vinyl and play it start to finish at 2 in the morning. "Mysterons" is a fat mood for me.
The unquestionable powerhouses of trip hop will always be Massive Attack and Portishead, and something about that indicates just how broad that subgenre covers. Where an album like Blue Lines is a love letter to soul, funk, and dub all through the lens of hip hop signatures and rapping as well as electronic noise, Dummy chooses to go a completely different direction entirely. Perhaps Portishead were inspired by Massive Attack and their accomplishments, but they certainly were no ... read more
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Track List

  1. Mysterons 
  2. Sour Times 
  3. Strangers 
  4. It Could Be Sweet 
  5. Wandering Star 
  6. It's A Fire 
  7. Numb 
  8. Roads 
  9. Pedestal 
  10. Biscuit 
  11. Glory Box
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