the rip

In 1994, Portishead came out with Dummy, this sort of smoky, noir-lady-singing-in-a-dive-bar-over-hip-hop-beats, sound.  It was a melange that was novel, head-nodding, and haunting, and it became a seminal formative influence on an entire generation of musicians.  Always averse to publicity, they put out one more album then went silent for nearly a decade.  When they reappeared with Third in 2008, instead of re-treading their now famous tropes, they released a sort of psychedelic rock album.  Despite all the ways in which that could’ve gone wrong, I found instead I could see her there as much as ever: singing sweetly in that smoky dive bar, a melancholic shining in the gloom.

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