Tag Archives: portishead review

Some music reviews (first of many)

You’d think with Beati Paoli on tour they’d have nothing better to do than drink beers and write in this blawg but I GUESS NOT.  I bought a shitload of CDs lately so: Time for some errrrrrrrrrrrviews!

Third by Portishead, 2008
Whoopee, Portishead returns after 11 years!  I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile but it took me a long time to actually buy it.  I even read a couple of reviews beforehand.  Rolling Stone basically stated that this album is just like what they did in the 90s and Pitchfork called it a psychedelic album.  Okay.  Some people is real dumm.  If you’re familiar with 90s Portishead then I would describe this album in the following way: take away practically ALL of the hip-hop elements, all the suave spy movie elements, and make it a lot gloomier.  People like to call Portishead a trip hop group but if Massive Attack and Tricky are trip hop then Portishead never were.  In truth, they were basically a gloomy hip-hop group with singing instead of rapping.  Well, all that is gone now.  No samples from old records, no loops, no scratches.  Still, the feel is overall the same if a bit sloppier but songwriting doesn’t GRAB me like their 2nd album.  Basically, it’s a pretty good album, I’m glad they released it but unless they change things up dramatically they don’t need to make another.  Grade: B

Donuts by J Dilla, 2006
Jay Dee aka J Dilla makes his transition from ultra smooth, semi-mainstream producer of the 90s to quirky, underground producer of the 2000z.  This is an instrumental album consisting of 30 great tracks.  The beats are so dusty and grimey but still soulful and melodic.  None of the tracks wear out their welcome, most only lasting a minute or two.  Vocal samples from old R&B albums abound.  This is exactly the kind of album that captures what I like about sampling and loops – creating a twisted, otherworldly feeling out of old material.  Grade: A