Portishead

Portishead - Portishead
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
1997 Ratings: #15 / 69
User Score
Based on 170 ratings
1997 Ratings: #11
September 30, 1997 / Release Date
LP / Format
Go!/London / Label
Trip Hop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Entertainment Weekly

This sophomore spook-athon from chilly U.K. combo Portishead clanks across the attic, via Geoff Barrow’s skeletal samples and funereal keyboards. Beth Gibbons’ surgical-steel voice on Portishead slices into her partner’s scraps of musical meat, for an effect that’s hypnotic, bloodless, and addictive.

90
AllMusic

An album that reveals more with each listen and becomes more captivating and haunting each time it's played.

90
Spin

Portishead has turned despair's dead-end into a highway of possibilities.

90
Slant Magazine

While other so-called trip-hop acts moved in a more accessible, trip-pop direction in the late 1990s, Portishead became stiffer, sinking more deeply into manic melodrama and the dingy recesses of the macabre. In a sense, a third studio album is essential to validate Portishead‘s glorious Middle Child Syndrome.

82
Pitchfork

Portishead comes very close to matching the twisting, dark road spirals of Dummy after it's sunk itself into your skull, and has permanently engraved itself in that giant slab of cold concrete that is the history of your life.

80
NME

Fundamentally it does all sound the same and, in true goth fashion, cheerily runs the full gamut of emotion from misery to unhappiness.

60
Rolling Stone
The entire record is an exercise in barren claustrophobia, as if Portishead had spent the past three years burrowing deeper and deeper into a self-obsessed, self-contained world. At this point, we can only hope — for their sake and for the listeners' — that they come up for air soon.
KanyesEgo
99
OH MY GOD
Plats
86
I didn't find this album nearly as thrilling as "Dummy". Still, it succeeds at expanding their beautifully haunting atmosphere with some jazz elements thrown in, which suits Beth Gibbons' vocals extremely well.

Fav Tracks: Cowboys, Undenied, All Mine, Elysium, Mourning Air,

Least Fav Track: Over

Score:
8.6
Exceptional
RyanDWessel
65
It's a good album on it's own, but it's far less memorable than Dummy. It has a lack of diversity and a lot of the songs feel the same, and it just feels flat and boring. I can dig a few songs, but overall it's boring.
InModeration
78
Portishead's self-titled follow up to their legendary debut, Dummy, is certainly quite the ambitious undertaking. It builds on the group's already distinct aesthetic by adding different genre influences all the way from jazz to lo-fi music. This results are a little bit mixed on that front, but overall the group did pull off something really unique. The writing has also evolved to cover a few more bases, but that does come at the detriment to the overall mood of the album. Mainly, this album ... read more
Doofy
88
Gibbons gets in touch with her inner witch bitch and goes to work pissing on everyone's pancakes.

Don't even think of setting the intro to 'Cowboys' as your morning wake up alarm.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#6/SPIN
#17/Consequence of Sound

Track List

  1. Cowboys 
  2. All Mine 
  3. Undenied 
  4. Half Day Closing 
  5. Over 
  6. Humming 
  7. Mourning Air 
  8. Seven Months 
  9. Only You 
  10. Elysium 
  11. Western Eyes
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