.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/955bbd976996410c86f372689faa1f2fb7977585.jpg PNYC

Portishead

PNYC

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
November 26, 1998

This exceptional concert recording dramatizes how the musical goals that drive this Bristol, England, quartet eclipse anything as fleeting as trip-hop (that most stupid of Nineties pop coinages). Mostly recorded at New York's Roseland Ballroom on July 24th, 1997, these songs find the group's soprano center, Beth Gibbons, applying her featherweight gravity to subjects like love ("Only You"), time ("Humming") and loss ("Cowboys"). "It's left us chokin'," Gibbons observes on "Half Day Closing" as the music writhes and glides behind her. "Storm...in the morning light," Gibbons observes on the heartbreaking "Roads" (recorded this year in Norway), alone and "frozen."

 

Portishead's studio nuts and bolts disappear on PNYC as the band expands onstage with a brass quintet and a stylishly directed thirty-three-piece orchestra. Everything here attempts, and often ascends to, the noble flow of a symphony, a great guitar jam, an Aretha-led soul song. PNYC may be Frampton Comes Alive! for the high minded and black clad. It's also more than that.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    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.

    X

    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

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com