http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/f0965615864feec773a8d271b97d53a5ed071957.jpg Dummy



Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
March 9, 1995

From tape loops and live strings, Fender Rhodes riffing and angelic singing, these English subversives construct très hip Gothic hip-hop. A junkie for smoky atmosphere, keyboardist Geoff Barrow selects offbeat samples (Johnny Ray, Lalo Schifrin, Wayne Shorter) while Beth Gibbons croons through the intentional murk, copping glamorous Astrud Gilberto attitude. Songs like "Roads," "Glory Box" and "Sour Times" come across both sad and sexy, provoking cinematic images — lonely lovers in cocktail lounges, light slipping through Venetian blinds. Assertive rhythms and quirky production, however, save Portishead from languishing in any coy retro groove. Instead they manage yet another — very smart — rebirth of cool.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »