Verdict = Not Dummy, but not at all bad
It is always with tepid anticipation that we welcome back the heroes of yesteryear. Too often the reunion and reformation of bands leads to damaging releases. However, it seems that there has been a recent wave of positive comeback stories as far as the indie music world is concerned with Portishead being the most recent. Third, the band's first album in over ten years, scores highly by retaining the elements that propelled the band to legendary status while still remaining fresh. Beth Gibbons is still the hazy diva of austerity and claustrophobia that she has always managed to be. In such a lengthy career, her heavy, nihilistic vocals are still at the peak of their sorrowful, menacing ability; the bitter constancy of the age old trip hoppers. The advancement comes in form of the production. It is still relatively sparse and somehow permanently emanating the dark blue hues that are found on the majority of the band's album covers (including Third), however, there is a certain grittiness, a certain genius in the mechanical drums and the odd clicks and spurs that flutter throughout the album that make it instantly distinguishable from their self titled album and Dummy. Simply put, it feels like the band was never on hiatus; as if they were still relishing in the creative genius that wrought their first two works. The album forgoes all the hubbub, forgets the pressure and simply gets down to business just the way you've always hoped. Third is immaculate and sits pristinely next to its forbearers.
Portishead - "Threads"