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One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Dummy

Portishead

1994

Wikipedia

Dummy

Rating

3.64

Votes

3826

Reviews

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5

Day 6 of Albums you must hear before you die.. I was initially disappointed because I looked at the name of the album and it says “Dummy” by Portishead... I thought, damn, what in the hell is a Portishead first and secondly, I thought, I wish it had been something I’m more familiar with. I look at the genre and it’s titled trip-hop, and although I don’t typically like the idea of “genres” when I listed I understood. Man... As soon as I clicked the play button on the first song, I was taken on a beautiful, sexy, smokey, spooky and one of the most sonically pleasing trips that I have ever been on.. Without tripping on acid, of course. (I’ve Never taken acid before by the way, I just could never find any). All jokes aside, this is one of those things that when I first start listening to it and start to let it sink in, I automatically want to know who in the hell produced this!? It’s AMAZING! It’s like 80’s and early 90’s hip-hop/boom bap music had a baby in a film with James Bond played by Isaac Hayes, directed by Martin Scorsese. It’s a cinematic experience that gives you chills. It’s also SO hip-hop that I almost expected Nasir or Andre 3000 to start spitting witty lyrics at certain parts of the songs. They are all crafted so well! All the samples, sound effects, record scratching, the soundtrack to this trip-hop era is so damned satisfying. The arrangements in these songs are so superbly laid out and even though the girl that seems like she’s singing in an old jazz club filled with cigarette smoke with the sweetest voice, that when certain hooks and bridges come in and out that you can only focus on the sounds. Dummy is so well produced, engineered, performed and presented on a platter of gold. Better yet, platinum. Actually four times platinum. Winner of some of the most prestigious awards in music. There’s a saying, you only need two turntables and a microphone, and that is TRUE! But.. If you’re in 1994 in England with access to so many great rhythm and blues albums and jazz records to dig through in the crates, and then be able to use the technology of the time to sample them, and THEN have the obscenely talented singer Beth Gibbons on that side of the fore mentioned microphone, crooning to the notes played from the weeping guitar of Adrian Utley.. Really, it’s a perfect blend of music that makes this album my favorite of them so far at day 6. It caught me by surprise.. Now to give you my favorite songs. I never wanted to skip a single song on all three listens that I had today. If you don’t like this album from the very start it’s not for you. Don’t like the first song? Listen to the very last one, Glory Box. It’s my favorite song and it samples black 007 Isaac Hayes (RIP KING) Now if you don’t like THAT song, we can’t be friends. CANNOT. I also like Mysterons, Numb.. Shit I like them all! I need someone to shame me for not knowing about this group for all these years!! Come at me bro! Last but not least, that producer that I wanted to know so much about, but still don’t because I just learned of Portishead (still a dumb name) yesterday, well, his name is Geoff Barrow, the DJ that you hear creating all these amazing backing tracks for this album that Beth could lyrically mold with her voice like creative hands molding wet clay. I don’t know shit about either of them as people and I want to keep it what way. I prefer the mystique I get from this record. What’s magic without mystery? Music is magic. I’m still excited to gush over some of the great music that I already know so well, after this album, a record that will stay in my rotation from here on out. I’m more excited for the rest of the 1001 albums to hear before you die that I don’t know at all. ✌️

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2

J'ai appris grâce à cet album que je n'aimais pas du tout le trip-hop, ce genre musical ayant émergé au début des années 1990, dans la région de Bristol. Pourtant, vous savez probablement que lors d'une kermesse s'étant tenue dans mon école primaire en 2005, j'avais représenté la ville de Bristol à la toute fin du passage de ma classe avec deux amis moins talentueux. Nous étions le clou du spectacle. À la fin du numéro, j'étais censé déchirer mon T-Shirt noir préalablement découpé et maladroitement scotché à cet effet et le lancer dans la foule. Seulement au moment où la musique s'arrêta, le T-Shirt ne se déchira pas malgré mes nombreuses tentatives. Je dus l'enlever de la façon la plus standard qui soit, avant de le jeter dans une foule qui criait au scandale. Depuis ce jour, je hais la ville de Bristol ainsi que la plupart des courants musicaux qui y ont émergé.

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5

Great album. Beth Gibbon's voice is sublime.

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4

There's not much else out there that sounds like Portishead. I come back to this album all of the time and never seem to get tired of it. Plus, how is it possible that Portishead was never used for a Bond movie??

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4

Can't recall too many households in the late 90s that didn't have a copy of this album in them. I mean, there's a reason why Glory Box was a smash. Whole album is so classy. Impeccable production. Beth Gibbons (whom I confused with Beth Orton) being a total weapon also helps.

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3

Not as good as the later album but still impressive.

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5

This is what music is supposed to be. Beautifully composed, edited and sung. I can see how this was the springboard for trip-hop and I thoroughly enjoyed the sampling. Overall, this is nearly a perfect album.

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5

Classic alert! They have a pretty unique sound as a band, only problem I have with them is they never really stray from this sound. IMO this is the only portishead album you really need to listen to, the others all sound the same but worse

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5

a masterpiece. easily in my top ten albums of all time i listen to this album as uch as any other album i can think of.

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5

This album is SO good! This is the first album I got to the end and immediately started listening from the beginning again. I’ve never actually listened to Portishead, so this is a revelation. Her voice, the ambience, the emotion, it’s all so good. Favourite track: “It’s a Fire.”

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4

Wandering Star is the first song by Portishead I listened to and the song that hooked me. Listening to this album took me back and reminded me what I was so into their sound.

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4

Dark, moody, understated. Lovingly arranged, wonderful restrain. Just enough negative space to allow songs to breathe. This album has outsized influence on 90s downbeat sound. If there's one criticism it's that incorporating the scratching record sounds definitely dates the record.

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4

Like someone put 90's hip-hop and alt-rock into a blender. The gloomy mood makes it perfect rainy day music but the record scratches and samples keep the music from becoming too downbeat or melancholy. It’s a cool, druggy vibe. Favorite tracks: “Sour Times” (one of those songs I didn’t even know that I knew until it came on), “It Could Be Sweet” (that bass line!) and “Wandering Star” (love the record scratches and background layers).

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5

90's mellow

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5

i love this album!

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5

Fuck yeah, this is one of my fav albums

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5

Great classic

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5

Incredible debut album. Glory Box is sublime

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5

Aye, that's a banger.

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5

Never listened to the full album before and thats a shame because its awesome!

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5

Duh

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5

Casi podría decir que está en mi top 3. Puto discazo de la puta madre. Roads a todo volumen con unos audifonos de medio pelo es la puta mamada, el bajito del final tururu rurururu tururú putamadre :')

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5

Fanatastic.

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5

This was so great! A mix of new age and 80s-90s techno sprinkled in.

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5

Haunting and beautiful. Another one I knew quite well before this project

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5

liked it. pornographic vibes

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5

There is zero (0) chance that I'll be objective reviewing this. Looooved this album during my uni days, and have loved Portishead ever since. Such a moody, smokey sound. Fave track - "Glory Box" maybe? Could easily be any of 5 or 6 others though...

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5

Is this Portishead?

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5

un tremendo 5 le doy a este trio ingles. 1.música catalogada como trip-hop que es perfecta para andar echando el toque diría facebook. 2.como esta madre no me dio álbum para el fin aproveche para escuchar sus otros 2 y también están bien sensuales. El segundo es mas lento estilo cabaret moderno y el tercero ya es otro trip de sonidos maravilloso. saludos jovenazos buen lunes inicio de semanita

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5

Good album!

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5

“It Could Be Sweet” is Ape Escape core

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5

Nice music

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5

The best!

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5

similar to grimes, crystal castles, the xx and metric

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5

Yeah a great album, best Portishead Album (not that I have listened to many) but this one I know very well

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5

5 or be exiled for crimes against Bristol!!

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5

С первого трека же зацепил. Не знаю, может внутри своего поджанра (как его наречь там, трип-хоп) звук весьма обыденный, но на незамыленное ухо звучит отлично. Минималистичные, но оригинальные и аранжировки вступают в идеальный синтез с мелодичными, звонкими, во некотором образе прогрессивными вокальными партиями. Интересный подбор инструментов, при этом все на своих местах. Лучшее применение скрэтчинга, что я слышал когда-либо (если это вообще он). Доминанта эстетики – это женский вокал. Без него бы вышло мало чего, а без всего остального что-то бы, да вышло. Мотив куплетов Sour Times напоминает Scissorlips у Rishloo. В Strangers появляется какой-то душный аккомпанемент. It Could Be Sweet довольно скучная, даже по вокальной партии. Возможно, будь короче, не успевала бы надоесть. Далее идут крепкие, порой очень годные треки. Biscuit под конец снова немного душит. А Glory Box – охуенный, балджёный трек. Думаю, три проходных трека можно простить, особенно когда перевешиваются лютой годнотой. Думаю, вернусь к исполнителю. Хотя и не могу запомнить название. Ещё участники говорят, мол их творчество «не поддаётся категоризации», такие вскукареки тоже не одобряем. Но альбом хороший.

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5

loved it! had no idea it existed so Im very happy.

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5

Einfach großartiger Klassiker.

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5

De los mejores albumes de trip hop de la historia

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5

nice easy listening, really liked the xx themese to this, on my list of good albumn

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5

4.5

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5

Top notch Portishead

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5

This is an amazing album. I remember when it came out, it absolutely blew me away. It was so unique, it defied categorization. 5 stars.

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5

I tried to listen to this with a critical ear, as it is one of my 'go-to' albums when I want something calming but not wishy-washy to listen to, but I couldn't. I love it too much to allow myself to associate any shortcomings with it!

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5

VIBES

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5

Classic and amazing album, great starting point.

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5

Mellow

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5

Solid gold

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5

Classical trip-hop album. Perfect lo-fi samples and like slow motion sound. Like it so much.

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5

Absolutely beautiful, great production, vibes.

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5

Timeless, popular for good reason. Every song is a different flavor of their alluring, melancholic sound.

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5

Gives me goosebumps in the best possible way. A perfect northern-hemisphere October listen.

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5

Trip Hoptastic! Still a regular on my playlist to revitalise my hazy 90s memories.

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5

One of the best.

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5

This is truly one of the greats. I remember the first time I heard it.

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5

Trip Hop is one of my favorite genres and this is a great album.

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5

love the way it feels throughout the whole album !! 10/10

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5

Know it well!

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5

This has always been the defining trip hop album to me, though I may be slightly biased, because the 1st streaming service I ever listened to in the 90s had a chill channel that may as well have been called the Portishead channel. The production is elegant and creative (some of the samples are way out there), they never stray too far from their moody, haunting sound, but the song writing is great so they don’t need to, and I never tire of Beth Gibbon's voice.

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5

Lovely album!

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5

Another album I really should have already listened to but just haven't Not too far removed from a lot of the lo-fi stuff I seem to end up listening to these days while working Glory Box was already in a few playlists, but have added album to collection Stand out track: Sour Times

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5

Love it, one of my favorite from college

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5

Por favor activen el 6 como puntuación, por que un 5 es poco para este disco. Increíble de arriba a abajo. Todas y cada una de las canciones me parecen buenas y el conjunto aún mejor.

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5

😵‍💫

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5

Cool synth pop album!

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5

Love

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5

The beginning of something great. Not only that, but haunting vocals that really accompany the melody quite well.

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5

I love trip hop, and this is the grandaddy of all trip hop albums. Great vocals, even better sampling and sound design, just a masterpiece.

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5

Great music

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5

This isn't quite tailor-made for me, but it's in an intimate class of albums produced with absolute mastery of the sampling and composition skillsets. The atmosphere Portishead conjures is pervasive, but there are clear bits and pieces to love. Give it two tracks: That's what it took for me, and Mysterons had me considering that the hype was entirely misplaced.

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5

Impossiblycool used to play it in the kitchen I worked in and everyone hated it which made me love it more. Great to hear it again back to a time and place.....

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5

Incredible. One of my favorite albums on the list so far. Way ahead of their time.

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5

Welcome to trip-hop. I think you can have sex to any of these songs to be honest. Already know this one very well, I like almost every song on it. Definitely a Portishead fan, the way they can weave a seductively dark vibe is top. Beth is a great singer as well and I love her vocal style. I came to this pretty late unfortunately, didn't hear it until my mid 20s, but I probably wouldn't have liked it as a teenager unfortunately. Only track that isn't as good as the rest is "It's A Fire", apparently it wasn't on the original UK release and I see why, not bad just not in the same caliber. Hard to pick a favorite track, but it might be Wandering Star. I really like Mysterons, It Could Be Sweet, Roads, Glory Box as well. Overall, Dummy may still be their best work.

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5

Absolutely iconic. I love that, in addition to some crate digging, they recorded their own music to sample and loop. Just brilliant. I'm a sucker for the downtempo beats and the general moodiness.

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5

Masterpiece

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5

Love everything about this album

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5

I've played this album till it was worn and grey back in the 90's. Trip Hop at its finest. There's not a bad song on this album.

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5

Maravilloso

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5

It’s always amazing to here such a vibe, consistent throughout a piece of work like this, that encapsulates an entire time period and genre.

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5

An album that hasn’t aged a bit since its release! A true classic!

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5

I remember hearing Sour Times for the first time. Nothing sounded like this then. Nothing sounds like it now. I've never listened to this whole album and I was missing out. btw Wandering Star is amazing, had to listen to it twice in a row.

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5

Love this album

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5

This album had an otherworldly sound when I first heard it. Upon listening again, it didn't awe me to the extent it did the first time in 1994, but it holds up really well and remains a great top-to-bottom album. I actually never thought they matched it with subsequent releases, (admittedly they didn't want to be pigeon-holed) but they really brought trip-hop to prominence along with Massive Attack.

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5

This band was starting out in Bristol (England) while I was at university there. But somehow I didn’t hear about them until after I had left, some time shortly after this album came out. This, plus massive attack became my staple and around that time and I still listen to this music. Great, innovative, original band. Love it.!

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5

A wonderful album.

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5

Of course, Its a defining album of our generation

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5

Outstanding

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5

Neither heard, nor heard of, Portishead until it popped up here. Really, really enjoyed it. Melodic & lyrically (& trip hoppy...). Added all three albums to collection.

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5

masterpiece

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5

Great cool 90s techno/ambient tunes. One of my all-time favorite background music albums

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5

🔥

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5

One of the greatest.

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5

Brilliant album. Hauntingly atmospheric and truly unique. Easy five stars but…. ….I couldn’t really tell you what any of the songs go like.

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5

Game-changer. Had never heard anything like this when it first came out. The musical equivalent of what I imagine drinking too much cough syrup feels like. Puts the "trip" in trip-hop. Haunting and sad but also sexy AF.

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5

Классный альбом. Качает шикарно. Люблю рэперские штучки, типа виниловых закручиваний. Офигенно. И девушка поёт здорово.

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5

FIVE STARS An all-time classic and a personal favorite of mine. As is usually the case with those five-stars albums, I won't write a full-blown review about this particular record, because others have already written wonderful stuff about it and there's not much I can add that I feel could be relevant and interesting. It's just a gem. Go and listen to it a.s.a.p. Number of albums left to review or just listen to:  more than 900, I've temporarily lost count here Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens:  approximately a half so far (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: a quarter Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): the last quarter

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5

One of my all time favorites. Album generator really hitting me with peaks and valleys. Genius album here. Music, mood, lyrics. Perfect.

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5

In my opinion, this album is the very definition of trip hop. I love the noir atmosphere that this album gives, I love Beth Gibbons's hypnotic vocals, I love the texture of the drums and the guitars and the beats, it's just a perfect album for me through and through.

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5

classique

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5

Excellent album, définitivement à réécouter. Nice vibe smooth, très sensuel mais dark à la fois. Je comprends pourquoi c'est un critical acclaim

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4

I remember getting "Three" a while back and being kind of "meh" about it. I enjoyed this record quite a bit more. Reminds me of being in a smoky, sophisticated cocktail bar while a singer in a gorgeous dress preforms. Favorite tracks: "Strangers", "Wandering Star"

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4

nice chill a bit depressing

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4

enjoyable, didn't finish

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4

classic

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4

I've heard this a bit before. This one is interesting, because I'm fairly certain I LimeWired just the song Pedestal by Portishead; don't know what led me to do that, but that song in particular is very stirring to me. I'll give 4 stars, this one's a fun listen.

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4

Incredible and moody.

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4

I love this album Holds up great some 30 years later too! Want to give it a five since it’s not a 4 but it’s not gonna be my first 5 Wish there was a 4.5 rating

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4

Real spooky, perfect for an overcast and moody Friday. Very mysterious. Deep down dark almost on the 90s rave spectrum somewhere but not really. Would need several listens to get the full experience, headphones are a must.

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4

Held up quite well. I remembered this, but was never into it deeply. It’s worth going back to revisit.

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4

Muy buen disco, fácil cuatro excelentes rolas que sigo escuchando hasta la fecha.

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4

Wow couldn’t believe how much I liked this album. Beats were great and I could hear where a lot of artists sampled their work from.

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4

Chillwave. Electronic but relaxed. Some songs remind me of the relaxing songs in Baby Driver. I looked and found that BOGA is who is in Baby Driver but they credit Portishead as starting the genre.

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4

I really enjoyed this album! the lead singer's voice kind of has this breathy, Billie Holiday feel to it, and the music itself is damn good! well worth a few listen-to's, "Strangers" is definitely the best song on the album

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4

Ну мне нравится это альбом и я его только недавно переслушивал, ближе к 5

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4

Genial, pero plano.

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4

exquisito...

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4

Finally a female vocalist! Though I'm not super blown away by this album. I've heard of the band before but not specifically listened to them. Because I heard the Sneaker Pimps first that's all I can think of when I listen to the album.

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4

buh

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4

A nice album to relax and innovative for its time

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4

Classic!

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4

Toffe muziek, genre kende ik nog niet en is heel eigen. Het nummer Glory Box komt me heel bekend voor en is echt tof.

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4

Chill beats

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4

4/5

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4

easy on the ears, nice album

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4

Always liked it, not quite in the right mood yesterday.

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4

I do remember listening to this album and a few songs in particular in the past, but it's not the sort of thing I would usually listen to. Really enjoyed the journey this time around though. Needs a certain mood I think, as with most music I suppose. Weird "spacey" kind of vibes, as expected. Very impessive production. Strangers was my standout despite the obvious big hitters on here. Though lots of interesting tracks with cool little interludes and different instruments coming in. It's a Fire and Roads are both lovely.

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4

The classics you all remember, and some other whispering moody vocals with sample-able groovy backing

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4

☠💌🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🦐

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4

yay

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4

Great album as good as i remember it

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4

4.5/5 very good album, kudos!

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4

More Soul and R&B influenced than I thought. Good, mellow trip-hop. Absolutely need to listen to this again, just not on a Monday. Direct link b/w this and burial

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4

ну кстати самая годнота из пока что представленного чилла. томное настроение, интересные партии голоса, атмосферные мелодии. работа со звуком опять же. не заметил, как прозалипал весь день на повторе за работой. приятно, 8/10

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4

Rainy Sunday mood music <3

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4

nice

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4

Me gusto mucho voz y sonido

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4

Had some absolute bangers in them

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4

Roads 👍

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4

Pretty 50/50 mix on mood; but, generally this album's good for a good cry. I skipped a few songs but also favorited a few. Great use of minimalism and sparse songwriting. Could be a David Lynch soundtrack.

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4

Beautiful vocals carry intense emotions throughout the whole album. A bit slow for my tastes but I enjoyed it all.

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4

Fantastic album, some real highlights and well know "hits" deffo have to be in a certain mood to listen to this but we'll worth it

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4

so about this album, def a nice one, roads is my favourite song of the album (and the one I already new), 2nd favourite is the first song (Mysterons). I do think the album got a bit same-y after a while (and most of their best songs are on another album imo)

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4

Pretty cool. Nice beats, sounds brand new. It could be sweet was fav

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4

ta golfo muy de xill

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4

I knew and really liked some of the songs, others were a little whiny but not bad

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4

Much better than the previous Portishead album I had reviewers! Cool spy movie soundtrack vibes mixed with electronica hip hop jazz.

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4

J'ai adoré cet album, pas trop le temps de commenter en ce moment, ne m'en tenez pas rigueur, les Jeux Olympiques sont extremement intenses en ce moment, et j'ai egalement besoin de prendre un peu mes distances avec rob pour reevaluer notre relation.

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4

Cool electronic music!

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4

chill and funky.

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4

Great, great, great album. Super chill but very intriguing. Loved it.

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4

Not sure I knew what Trip Hop was but I liked it. A bit dreamy?

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4

gah, another 3.5. I'm not sure about leaning to a 4, but in comparison to some recent 3s I definitely like this more. I suppose these numeric ratings are always in a bit of flux and bound to be awarded within the context of what's been listened to recently.

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4

Familiar with the name but really but sure how I haven't really listened to them before? Loved this though!

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4

Moody and dark and sexy

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4

Eigentlich ist das schon auch ziemlich guter HipHop. Also von den Beats her, natürlich nicht vom Gesang - aber die Beats: hört hin Leute, DIE sind das, weshalb das hier TripHop genannt wird. Trippy, mit schönen Samples bzw. direkt eingespielten singenden Sägen, Rhodeses und was sonst noch so schön traurig/psychedelisch/schaurig leiern kann. (Wieder-)Entdeckung für mich wäre It's A Fire, vor allem aber auch Biscuit Box. Für mich als Gesamtkunstwerk nicht ganz auf Flughöhe ihrer ebenfalls Bristoler Kollegen von Massive Attack, musikalisch aber auch nicht weit darunter.

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4

Waren die blechern scheppernden Beats mit Absicht so gestaltet, damit Beth Gibbons Stimme noch perfekter klingt als perfekt? Oder soll damit, den Morricone Gitarren und verstaubten Scratches ein nicht zu verortender Zeit-Kolorit abgemischt werden? In jedem Fall ist es gelungen, einen Klassiker mit tränenverschmierten Kajal in den Äther zu pinseln. Trauerweidigste 4.4

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4

This was very enjoyable, just don't see myself re-listening. 4.2

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4

Brings back memories and still sounds great.

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4

This album bangs. Not quite a perfect 5, but for production alone this album is a solid 4+. It took some getting used to but still- dark and spooky and wonderful. This album is what gen x based their entire personalities on

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4

A good album, I have just personally overplayed it to the point of contempt

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4

This CD is always close-by and ready to be put in the deck. While one of my favs of that era, perhaps also a bit nostalgic for me personally for various personal reasons. It was unique and refreshing in the middle of grungevolution.

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4

I listened to this a lot when it came out, then it became omni-present, so I didn't need to keep the CD. I've not listened to it end-to-end since a few months after it came out. The foundations of trip-hop are here ... rolling drum samples, film noir strings, theremins, occasional twangy guitars, some lovely Fender Rhodes. Beautifully crafted, and very moody. Anguished, tender vocals. Sonically overall, it draws from Isaac Hayes' solo LPs , and his contrasts of space and lush instrumentation

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4

7/10. Kinda strange, sort of peaceful

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4

Fantastic production. Sometimes the vocal performance was a little ham-fisted, which detracted for me 8/10

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4

Dreamy trip-hop, a 1990s classic.

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4

Talk about a moody album! This album could make a great movie soundtrack. “Sour Times” feels like it could be a theme for a James Bond movie. The same holds true for most of the songs on the album to some degree. I love the lead singer and the music. I really enjoyed listening to this twice and will listen again. It is particularly good as background music while I work or as music to relax to at the end of the day. It is filled with unique sounds and samples but is oh so smooth. It’s great that DUMMY has come to my attention, because I should be listening to more Portishead. I definitely understand why this album made the 1001 list.

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4

I recall having heard of Portishead, but that was about it. At the start of the first song, I thought, "Oh, yes! I am going to love this!" Well, as it turns out, I mostly did. There were times I was hoping that there would be at least a slight shift in mood and tempo, but that is not what this album had in store for me. Instead I sat there in the groove craving a swanky smoked whiskey cocktail served over a single large iceball.

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4

Now this is more like it. Dummy has to be the Sgt. Pepper or Nevermind of Trip Hop albums. Proof that when everything comes together with just the right mix, the genre is listenable if not magical. I'm hoping when I go on my Björk run I'll learn this genre doesn't have to be so goddamn depressing. The vocals of one Beth Gibbons set this thing through the roof. Hers is the voice you want singing sad song lyrics. Your key tracks here are Sour Times and Glory Box. Both remain ubiquitous because there's nothing else quite like them.

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4

Added!

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4

Killer beats. I imagine this album has been sampled more than a few times. The vocals were intense and emotional, but weren't necessarily for me.

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4

It’s good for what it is, but not my favorite. Sounds like the background of an edgy sad scene in a movie.

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4

I had heard this one before but never payed too much attention to it. That was a mistake. Album sounds exceptional, it has a style that can pretty much only be found here, and that is quite something on itslef. It feels like one of those albums you can get really invested on and listen over and over again. Definetely worth.

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4

I imagine if Sade’s dog died and she was tripping on downers she would sound like this. Most of the album is one note, very dark and moody, but hey if that note works why not stick with it eh? However The best songs IMO are the ones that deviate from the formula a bit: Glory Box and Sour times. They could lose the fake scratched vinyl sound though, it really dates the album. However it’s definitely well produced and performed, this record ain’t no Dummy.

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4

Had a weekend with loads of kids and early mornings at hockey rinks. I gave this a quick half listen so have nothing specific to say. It's really good.

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4

Industrial sounds, jazzy and funky undertones funko pop

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4

I like this. It's sad and moody and grimy and definitely makes me FEEL something. I appreciate the hell out of that.

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4

Very well-produced with a distinctive, unique sound. Sags a bit in the middle, but the dour, haunting singles make up for it. Much better than the town it's named after.

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4

Solid

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4

Such a strange and mysterious album. Ethereal sounds that seem be from some alien beings. Strange and otherworldly and yet accessible and familiar. Now how do they do that. Now how exactly do they pull that off. Well Beth Orton's magnificent voice definitely helps in that regard. A wonderful album who's best moments / songs never fail to draw me in; 4 🌟

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4

goat

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4

Very much enjoyed the vibes. Ethereal and slow. Listened twice.

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4

YES!

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4

I got it 25 years after

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4

Þessi er náttúrulega klassík, á hana á vínil og hef hlustað nokkrum sinnum en ekki nógu oft í rauninni. Ég er á því að þetta sé alveg hátt í 9/10 honestly, þó ég neyðist til að gefa henni 4 stjörnur.

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4

They seem to occupy their own genre, how do they do it?

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4

Classic sounds. Scratching sounds dated now but everything else flows together.

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4

Good Album. I enjoyed it very much as some background tunes.

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4

Really enjoyed some of the tracks, very unique

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4

Going in I only knew Glory Box because my wife put that on a mix CD when we first started dating. I liked the song but never felt the need to check out the band further. I probably should have because this was a fun listen. Very relaxing in its way. I know next to nothing about the genre but I know what I like. Some songs were admittedly not as good as others but overall very good. I'd probably give it a 3.5 but the album made me think of my wonderful wife who I love dearly, so a 4 it is.

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4

Love this album. Bought it soon after it came out when I heard Glory Box. Played it only last week.

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4

i'm not sure what I was expecting with this "trip hop" but my gosh, this is great! what a wonderful album, truly a unique sound. some songs really blew my socks off--sour times? it's a fire? wow! actually, glory box has a very billie holiday feel to it. some other songs i didn't enjoy as much, but regardless i can't wait to listen to this album more and more.

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4

Never heard this all the way through before today, and this won't be the last time. Not necessarily chill out but necessarily cool nonetheless.

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4

So cool. Like a soundtrack to a suspense noir movie

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4

I have seen this band’s name for years and always thought it was ridiculous. This is a classic case of you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Loved this. Will absolutely listen again. Really glad this one popped up because I never would have tried it on my own.

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4

Other reviewers have asked the same question: Why haven't Portishead been tapped for a James Bond theme? Beth has a great voice, totally suited to the slow beats that back her up. I'd never heard this band, their name sounded like a folk band. Then I read something that said they were pioneers of trip hop. This immediately sent my antennae waving, not in a good way. But I've been pleasantly surprised and enjoyed their music, bar one important detail. I've listened to several albums recently that all suffer from a lack of variety. EDM is chronically guilty of that. Sadly, it becomes a bit wearing. But it's so well done it still gets four stars. A couple of reviewers had a go at the scratching. IT'S 1994 FFS!

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4

trip hop for the win

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4

Solid album. Lots of cool, mellow songs. Not a huge fan of the record crackling they did on there. Good chill album but very the same throughout

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4

great album - depressing as hell but great.

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4

J’ai bien aime le style lambiance c’est un super album 4.75

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4

I actually really enjoyed this. It's like Amon Tobin, but with tolerable bits of techno music thrown in.

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4

Pros: - 1994 this came out. Grunge was the shit and they release this wickedly noir, vibey, cool, sickly blend of post rock that's been hanging out with minimalist electronics and somehow make it all work so good that it still makes me wonder ~28 years later how they didn't get asked to do a James Bond theme song. - Sometimes when I have random daydreams about running off to the desert and making an album, the final output in my head ends up sounding like this album and this band. - This is a great mixture of foreground and background music for me. I could have it on while my brain is 99% doing something else, like reading a book. I could have it on while my brain is doing 1% something else, like doing the dishes. - Listen to "Strangers" at the 1:12 mark. The pulse of the song from here on is what sounds like a phone ringing off the hook. How cool is that? Cons: Misc: - It just oozes "cool".

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4

Throwback to college days! I definitely had an impressively high iTunes playcount on "Sour Times" and "Glory Box". The rest of the album is nice and trippy, but those two just have the hooks that drone in your head. Super cool music.

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4

I love Portishead's self titled album but for some reason this is my first time listening to this one...so this will be fun.

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4

I liked it. Felt very cinematic. I had originally thought it sounded like a 90s teen TV show soundtrack, the part where that one couple finally get together, or can't get together, or break up after being together, but it's actually too good to make that comparison. Moody & broody, the kind of music for the evening (in my opinion) if that makes sense.

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4

8/10

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4

I had heard of them but never heard them. Cool sound, very unique. Fun listen.

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4

Glad for an excuse to listen to some Portishead, been loving Glory Box on YT for a while now. Roads and Wandering Star were excellent. Beth Gibbons with the stellar vocals as usual.

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4

Classic

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4

4.1 - Fantastic mixture of hip hop, blues and soul. Hauntingly chill tracks that are a perfect listen for so many times.

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4

I enjoyed this much more than expected.

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4

- this truly deserves to be in 1001 albums - it gently creeps, it's very inconspicuous - cant stop thinking about Wandering stars....would love to see deconstructed

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4

great!

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4

Era defining eerie sounding big breaking music from Portishead near Bristol. Sounds retro and modern in tandem. Beth Gibbons kills it in the vocals, like a glamorous 60s chanteuse in Doc Martens.

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4

I first listened to this album probably ten years ago or so from a friend who gave me a burned a copy of this cd. I really like the instrumentation and her vocal style. Triphop is a genre that I am interested in checking out more. Glory box and wandering star are my favorite two songs.

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3

Wow the beats were INSANE

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3

is that sad-girl trip-hop. That knock knock my life is shit but also lowkey kinda depressingly cool. ya feel?? knoknok!!

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3

It was so 90s.

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3

É um belo álbum, vocais muito diferentes, mas o destaque é mesmo Glory Box, uma música absolutametne maravilhosa

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3

Hieno hämyisän raskas tunnelma ja piti otteessa alusta loppuun. En tiedä mitä on tapahtunut kun ko. orkesteri onnistui tekemään toisen aivan ultimaattisen paskan levyn :D

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3

I think somehow I would have preferred this as an instrumental

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3

Fine, not terrible, but not particularly good either. Just not for me.

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3

Cool. Somewhat of a depressing vibe. Introspective

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3

It was okay!

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3

A compelling mix of angelic lyrics and dark music and lyrics creates an eerie atmosphere. The songs can feel repetitive however as they don't differentiate from each other very much. Fave songs are sour times, it could be sweet, its a fire, and glory box.

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3

Favorites: Mysterons, Sour Times, It Could Be Sweet, Wandering Star, Roads, Glory Box. Debut album of the London group, was one of the biggest artists and albums to make trip hop/downtempo gain prominence in the mainstream (Massive Attack was the biggest).

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3

Good album. Definitely want to check out the bands other stuff.

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3

Not a trip hop fan so let’s see how this goes 1- the synths make this gold, actually really like this, a little dark 2- one of the classic songs, this is smoother than I remember, can’t see myself ever just turning this on, but damn that hook is fire, nobody loooooves me 3- this is fine, this is the trip hop that is boring to me 6- wait this is bad imo. Hm 7- yeah I don’t think I like most of these. Seems like they’re trying to make a “cool” James Bond soundtrack. Feels like they’re trying too hard 8- did I speak too soon!?!? This shit is so good. Everything is connected on this song. Really really sad, I do love strings so that may be it. This seems like a classic more than anyone so far. Saving this one. Last song - the other classic I’ve heard. It’s good still. This does Bond proud. Feeling like 2.5-3 maybe

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3

Interesting

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3

Inspired trip hop, James Bond vibes

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3

good album, wasn't really in the mood for it that day tho.

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3

I appreciate this is good, but I don't love LOVE it you know? Like I enjoy certain parts of it but maybe the style doesn't ALWAYS appeal to me. But its not 'bad' is it. Don't kick off Will

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3

3

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3

Not really my style, found it hard to differentiate between songs.

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3

Very much lo-fi beats. Sounds like coffee shop music, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Not my cup of tea, but enjoyable none-the-less.

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3

Agobiante... opresivo...

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3

Meh

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3

Started off a bit spooky, ended with a few very listenable songs. Would consider going back for another listen through.

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3

Lo-fi downtempo.

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3

I like how this kind of music makes me feel like I’m slowly drifting into insanity...

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3

Haunting and much better than I expected. We both enjoyed listening to it. ***

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3

Not bad. 0RS

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3

When I was 5 I set my baby brother on fire. He now looks like a melted welly. Not the most handsome of the Spackmen. That's me. As voted for on 8 separate occasions at Spackman family gatherings.

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3

Thought it was OK. Her voice put me off a bit.

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3

Interesting experience. Some of it is painful to listen to (probably because wearing headphones). 50 minutes long and 2/3 of the way through I was really bored of it though. Would not listen to again but some of it was compelling.

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3

If you're going to make weird droney music with very little in the way of tune or melody, this is how its done. Had a surprisingly good time with this, even if I probably won't touch it again.

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3

Cool vibe. Not my vibe. But cool.

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3

Your on a roll now keep them coming. Talking of coming, I once came all over bindy (ask Rolf)

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3

Mediocre. Not my type.

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3

Unoffensive, but not my thing.

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3

A beautiful conglomerate of jazz, electronica, R&B...my first introduction to "trip hop," and the best way to start off. Beth Gibbon's voice is sensual, the beats are smooth and the instrumentation is diverse and chaotic. It feels like a more euphoric experience than a record. Something I will definitely come back to listen to. Favorite Song: Roads Least Favorite: Biscuit

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3

Easy to listen to. Similar to Bjork without as much variety. Not quite my thing.

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3

Okay but uneventful

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3

Theremin out the gate! Each song on its own has a good chill vibe, but to listen to straight through was too much. Put me in a trancelike state, and I mean that in a bad way. Still has my respect though.

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3

Solid album

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3

A sometimes listen, good but I have to be in the mood for it.

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3

Unexpectedly interesting. A lot of texture and color to these tracks. A cool mix of ambient and dark. I like Beth Gibbons' voice. Not a style of music I've ever spent any time with -- kind of hard to fit into a "genre," anyway, and I like that about this album; I'm glad this project introduced me to it.

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3

Decent. 5-6/10

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3

Def liked this better than the last one. Still not my thing.

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3

This debut album from Portishead is an adventure into the trip hop / downtempo universe. A clash between hip hop and electronica with tons of instruments being used and samples scattered around. The music can be described as experimental/avant garde, sad/introspective, ambient/soundscapes, classy/cool, and chill yet comfy. The amount of time and work it took to play instruments, sample recordings, scratch the records, and mix the music must've been immense, but it paid off with a platinum album. This album is timeless and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it - probably because EDM is my favorite genre.

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3

It was ok

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3

Lofi hip hop was much better when I was diving home in the dark rain

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3

Nice beats. The lady singer is a bit much sometimes.

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3

Sunday 26th September 2021 Run through Thackley to Carr Lane and back up main road.

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3

Closer to a 3.5. Has some really incredible moments, and is very unique, has some really cool noir vibes to it. But I think it drags on a bit in the first half, and as unique as it is, it lacks sonic diversity. Maybe ill look more positively on this album in the future.

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3

Idk man ja ha lyssna på dehär albume typ tre gånger å ja ha nog viba men ja kommer ändå int ihåg någo från de

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3

Trip-hop's peak? Brooding synths, breathy vocals, bug atmospherics. Even the dinner party patchouli oil crowd couldn't ruin this album. Best Tracks: Mysterons; Sour Times; Glory Box

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3

This whole thing sounds like a Pierce Brosnan bond movie...

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3

Like the voice and the music is not my style but not offensive then after 10 minutes my ears got bored and stopped listening as every track sounded the same.

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3

very chill

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3

I want to like this but there’s not enough variation in tempo throughout the album. I could listen to maybe one of these songs at a time but a whole album is just boring, no matter how well the beats are constructed. 5/10

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3

Their best!

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3

This is not what I expected Portishead to sound like. But it turns out I was confusing them with Pigeonhead. Very different. Portishead's Dummy is pleasant ethereal background sound, the kind of music that they play to alert me that my time is up in the sensory deprivation tank. I've listened all the way through a few times and, other than Sour Times (which I know from something but I don't know what), not much leaps out at me. I'll rotate a couple of songs into my library but I'm not going to rush to find more.

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3

I really enjoyed the first two songs of this album with the theremin and the cimbalom in each respectively. "Sour Times" had a very cool James Bond feel to it, was my favorite, and raised my hopes. But as it went on, however, the songs seemed to get less interesting and less distinct. I think the album as a whole was ahead of its time, and I think has had many imitators since.

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3

Idk about this

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3

was ok for the day

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3

As gray as Bristol weather...

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3

Didn't mind this one. Mostly haunting songs that I wouldn't normally seek out.

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3

The bells on Sour Times sounds like the Taskmaster TV show. And is also a cool groove! It's A Fire is another groove. Glory Box is a nice closer, though I personally feel this album as a whole is lacking.

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3

The album has highs and lows, but ultimately, the highs are pretty interesting, and the album as a whole is memorable, after all

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3

It was aight for a bit, got annoying later

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3

Super good, very 90’s female led dark electronica, massive attack/ mazzy star

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3

I like this more now than I did when it came out.

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3

Ok

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3

meh

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3

6.7

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3

Enkel het laatste nummer van dit album kende ik. Verder vond ik het weinig speciaal, maar wel oké

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3

Meio deprê, meio sexy: give me a reason to be a woman. Impactante.

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3

A very good early exemple of trip hop. A lot of good references, expecially in the choice of samples. The sample of Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II" elevates "Glory Box" to another level and the singles are the best tracks - all trip hop classics.

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3

o álbum é bom, mas o estilo não é muito o meu (muito eletrônico)

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3

Smooth ellectronic music and trip hop

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3

One word I would use to describe Portishead's vocals, especially on this album, is "haunting". This album mixes a chamber music sound with what was, at the time, an electronic-forward, trip hop sound, with the occasional record scratch sound effect straddling the line between the two realms. It makes for a very interesting listen! Prior to hearing this album front to back, I was only familiar with the song "Glory Box" off of this album, and I still feel like this is the standout of this album. Ultimately, a very chill listen, and while it didn't stand out in any exceptional way to me, I enjoyed it.

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3

Just like I remember, Eerie and Mellow. Great Stuff.

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3

Cool

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3

I'm very familiar with this album as it was a favorite of a crush of mine. I a indifferent to it on all levels.

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3

Two trip-hop albums in a row. I liked this one a little bit more than Massive Attack, but still not going to go in heavy rotation.

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3

I expected this to be pretentious. It was. I expected this to be insufferable. It ... was not. While I'm most definitely not a fan of the gothy lounge-lizard vocals, the album has its moments of brilliance. There are tracks that are evocative of a film score and are enjoyable. The album on the whole, however, it just so very tryhard and the end result is less than satisfying.

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3

It's cool i guess, really sad but cool drums and stuff

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3

Not bad! I don’t really get the triphop genre but whatever this was was fine

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3

Decent album. I really enjoyed the more hip hop like tracks. Instrumentals for these but also the other ones were really enjoyable. However, slow tempo singing songs isn't my cup of tea but very atmospheric.

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3

Meh a bit boring

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3

Strangers was sampled in a sick Mac Miller/Vince Staples song

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3

I don't know whether this is the best album to listen to while you're working or if it's the worst. Pros: it's very trancelike. Cons: It nearly made me fall asleep for that very reason. Fave track was "Sour Times," but there were quite a few good ones in here. But even with that being the case, there's a certain sameness quality that would deter me from regularly re-listening to this album from start to finish. A strong meh for me.

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3

2.5/5 Not my music genre, still this was not bad. But after a while the songs all sound the same. It has a nice easy vibe and was not as bad as I thought it would be. Favourite song: - Wandering star

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3

Entiendo que es bueno, pero aburre.

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3

Highlights: Wandering Star. Another album that was totally new to me, and I enjoyed it.

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3

4/11/22 Background music. Should be in a spy movie. All songs blur together. Favorite song: Glory Box

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3

Very moody music. Sounds like it influenced a lot of chill/trip hop today. My favorite song (and the only one I think I’d heard before) is Glory Box.

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3

Listened to on 4/11/22 3/5 Favorite song: Wandering Star Heavy emphasis on the beats - good vibes all around but some weird breathy lyrics. Background music for sure

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3

I’ve always liked this album. My ex girlfriend played it a lot -1 star

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3

Eerie and dreamy and totally cool, but also static, almost posing. It could do with some tunefulness. It’s all moods, with little flow and next to no harmony. Trip-hop is not aging all that well; here, the over-reliance on the same little scratchy sound-effect speaks to a passing (now long past) moment of coolness; these songs are equally transitory, if still cool, which lands them somewhere between triviality and ephemerality. 3

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3

There was a wider than usual range of how much I liked the songs on this album (wasn't paying close enough attention to write down the ones I liked, though). Interesting style, glad to have heard it.

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3

Eerie loveliness

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2

Zzzzzzz

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2

nah

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2

No. I always thought this band was something else entirely, but what they are is much different, and I am not sure it is better. =[

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2

I can imagine an era where this sounded cool and sexy and sad but now i just think of the music lame hotel bars play to force a vibe

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2

Boomy, bassy, muddy sound.

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2

Muito edgy, musicalmente fraco

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2

Grand. Every track is the same. Nice easy to listen to but wouldn't be in a rush to play it again

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2

I actually enjoyed some of the instrumentals on this album, especially "Glory Box". However this is simply not my cup of tea otherwise.

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2

i wanted to like this. i wanted enough time to have passed since 1995 when i was hearing that damn song all the time. i wanted to find something here beyond what there was. i was disappointed on all fronts.

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2

This is very different from what I listen to on a daily basis. The sound is very interesting as it is very trippy at times. It does get repetitive throughout the album.

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2

too mellow and sad, not very engaging

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2

Assez ennuyant

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2

Not my style, but interesting

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2

Running out of things to say about Albums where I basically go 'this is fine'

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2

whatever

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2

2

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2

I get there was an ambient vibe but not really my bag.

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2

Nah, didnt work for me at all. I'm sure at the time and in the right circumstances this was a good album but I couldn't get on with it.

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2

It’s not horrible, but it’s definitely not my jam

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2

not my style

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2

Trip hop. Like The Avalanches and Evanescence got together in the mid 90’s.

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2

Moody and dark songs about situations gone awry.

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2

напомнило pj harvey тока опопсевшую

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2

2.5

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2

Some cool music but ultimately it’s never exciting to listen to.

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2

Boring Radiohead-style slow blandness

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2

Kinda like early lo-fi. Pretty vocal tone from female lead singer, but not really digging the sound. Pretty repetitive.

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2

meh 2/5

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2

I won't deny that they're damn good at their metier, curio samples and instrumental filigrees. But I will argue that there's such a thing as too much joyless warbling over tranquillised beats, and this is it.

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2

Used to love it. Now i just realise how boring it is and there are two good tracks. Rest filler

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2

Not for me

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2

Nfm

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2

Critics love female singers who sound like wounded birds, and I can't figure out why. Also, can we calm down with the scratching? Best track: Glory Box

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2

weak sauce. 2/5

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2

Roads and Glory Box are obvious stand-outs, but a cursory look at Portishead's Spotify page could have told you that. I can't really call the album boring - the instrumentation is pretty wacky throughout - but at the same time I'm not really moved by it. Found myself saying "that sure is a song" occasionally. But, you know, Glory Box still slaps.

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2

Meh

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2

Bah, non è brutto, ma non mi piace. No ok, da 'it could be sweet' peggiora: scratch casuali, sonorità che fanno a pugni tra di loro, voce per la maggior parte del tempo noiosa. 'Glory box' la migliore insieme a 'Roads', salvano l'album.

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2

We'll see, but so far might not be my thing...its fine for the background

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2

BAD

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2

Bit weird, wouldn't have listened to it otherwise.

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2

Tried to like it. Beth Gibbons moaning voice is the sure cure for insomnia. The sampling is uninspiring. I know a lot of people like this album. Sorry, I didn’t get it.

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2

This was really dull to me. All the songs blended together and I couldn't really differentiate one from the other. No stand outs for me.

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2

Not bad. Mellow. Pleasant. Might not make my regular rotation but glad I heard it. I never heard of the "trip hop" genre, but it sounds like it's under the alternative branch. Maybe even a little prog??

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2

Meh

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2

Trip hop isn't really my thing, but this is perfectly fine for the background. 'Glory Box' was the best track by far.

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2

Even non-instrumental electronic music is still electronic music at the core: doesn't give anything at all and is rather annoying

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2

Far too many of these contemporary and electronic albums that provide little must hear value or excitement. Just a boring album, regardless of production quality.

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2

Meh. Not a terrible album by any means, but not something I would listen to again.

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2

Couple of belters, but6 overall meh

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2

The chill factor here is undeniable, the hiphop grooves and melodies are nothing to scoff at here. In fact, they are very much a good thing on this album. Perfect rhythm to write to, or do office work. The real weakness here is the vocals. It is an interruption to the aforementioned enjoyable grooves. The lyrics do not take control as they should, nor do they add enough to the songs to justify their presence, and this is a problem for most of the album because if this is triphop, let the listener be on the trip. Notable exception is the final track "Glory Box" where tonally the singer and the music found their harmony. Lounge-sound, some well done crooning, was a well-taken trip. It is a shame that the rest of the album did not match this energy.

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2

very mellow

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2

2.5

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1

I didn't like them when they came out for the first time. It's too dark and depressing for me. Also it's a bit contrived for the moments

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1

1/13/21

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1

So boring, so drab. You'd have to force me to listen to it again.

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1

(Dice que no con la cabeza)

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1

Oczywiscie kolejny brytyjski album, bo jak inaczej, banda bristolska, co podobno ma znaczenie jesli chodzi o gatunek, bo wszedzie okreslana ta plyta jest jako trip hop, przed przesluchaniem mialem calkiem inny obraz tego podgatunku hopu, zadnego tripa tu nie bylo, hopu tym bardziej, bardzo depresyjny material, utrzymany zazwyczaj w tempie 80 stukow na minute, sporo dzwiekow tworzyonyc synthami, bo to raczej samplowanie nie jest, wiec efekty koscielnych organow sie znajda, tutaj znowu efekciarskie klawisze lat 80, a do tego dochodzi najgorsze co moze spotkac srednio ciekawy instrumental, jeszcze mniej ciekawy wokal, ktory snuje swoje depresyjne przeslanie, nie ma tutaj gdzie szukac pozytywow, wokal jest tak nijaki jak moze byc spiewany tekst, sluchasz i zapominasz jak brzmial zaraz po zatrzymaniu odtwarzania, moze to i dobrze, az musze stworzyc nowa plejke zeby wrzucic jakis dowod namacalny przesluchania tej plyty, a nigdzie nie moge tego sklasyfikowac, bity nawet to jakiegos lofi podziemnego rapersa by przeszly, ale ten wokal nie pasuje nigdzie plejlistowo, wiec powstaje specjalna plejka odpadow listowych, na ktora wyciskam esensje tego materialu jednym trakiem, czyli sour timesem

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1

not my taste at all. Probably a 1/5

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1

bleck.. zzzzz

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1

Damn this album sucks. Sour Times is good but the rest of the album isn’t near good enough to warrant a second star

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1

I really didn't like the first one of their albums that came up on this list. I also really didn't like this one.

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1

1.75

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1

Nope

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Rage life soul void sex mind evolution

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