AOTY 2019

Portishead

Portishead - Portishead
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
1997 Ratings: #15 / 73
User Score
Based on 253 ratings
1997 Ratings: #13
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.
Doofy
91
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.
amygoodall
80
good
wanderingstar
95
Expands on a particular aspect of "Dummy": the evil, seedy and grainy aesthetic. This feels so sinister and insidious, crawls under your skin and refuses to leave. And you know what's funny? This is their worst.
KanyesEgo
86
OH MY GOD
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Year End 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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