- Words: Derek Beres
- Label: Mercury
- XLR8R Rating: 9/10
Since their founding in 1991, Bristol-based trio Portishead has never wavered from their original intention: to play music how and when they wanted. It's been a decade since their live CD at New York's Roseland Ballroom was released, but what their 11-song return lacks–those effervescent, puncturing beats and basslines that put their debut, Dummy, on the map–is more than made up for in the rich textures of Geoff Barrow's and Adrian Utley’s jazz- and noir-inspired doodles. And, of course, the hook: Beth Gibbons. The painful longing in her voice emerges from the silent spaces of “Plastic,” and the downright beauty of “The Rip,” an acoustic gem that explodes with an airy beat, reaffirms this band’s uncompromising devotion to the craft that brought them together.
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