Some of you remember the uproar Lindsay caused when she spit out a critical review of Third, Portishead's new album, calling it "bad and trippy, weird and annoying."
Well, in the days since, Portishead has been getting extended play time on the stereo and my ipod earbuds--and I'm here to tell you that Lindsay's assessment was a little on the tough side.
Third is a demanding album, no question. The stalled-out beats and filtered vocals give the songs a dark, enigmatic flavor. However, in my experience, this initial opacity also makes the record an immersive listening experience. There are a handful of albums that I've felt compelled to play over and over again, as if there are musical mysteries to be unraveled. Portishead's Third is right up there with Funeral by Arcade Fire and Radiohead's In Rainbows.
Upshot: If you're willing to invest the time, Portishead's latest foray into vocal-anchored electronica is a fascinating trip (hop). Highly recommended.