Third

  • Record Label: Mercury
  • Release Date: Apr 29, 2008
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Even though not every twisted move they make on Third pays dividends, considering the stakes, consciously fucking with their formula is a bold gamble for which they should be saluted.
  2. Q Magazine
    60
    Third will probably be more admired than listened to and, you suspect, this suits Barrow, just fine. [May 2008, p.131]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 180 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 84
  2. Negative: 9 out of 84
  1. AlanO.
    May 8, 2008
    10
    This is a stunning album! To be frank, I am not a Portishead fan...I recognize their history and had ocasionally bumped into their brand of This is a stunning album! To be frank, I am not a Portishead fan...I recognize their history and had ocasionally bumped into their brand of Trip-Hop back in the day which mostly left me dry. This new album is something different. Fans of Jane Siberry, Stina Nordenstam, David Sylvian, Talk Talk, and Mimi Goese take note. The songs are experimental in nature but infused with warm electronics, etheral background shuffles, and stark, introspective lyrics. I have no idea what their traditional fans will make of this...might be a bit challenging. This is a record you have to get to know, spend time with, and ponder. Some definate reference points: Stina Nordenstam -"This is Stina Nordenstam," "When I was a Boy," - Jane Siberry," and "Soak" - by Mimi Goese. Candidate for album of the year hands down... Full Review »
  2. MitchellZ.
    May 1, 2008
    9
    Third is not as instantly gratifying as Dummy. The hyper-stylized noir paranoid fantasy is gone. Instead, Third sounds as fractured and Third is not as instantly gratifying as Dummy. The hyper-stylized noir paranoid fantasy is gone. Instead, Third sounds as fractured and threatening as the times it reflects, while pulling up musical references to psychedelia of the 60's. I've only listened to it twice through, and it requires a bit of attention. But the music is astoundingly mesmerizing at times. And it really sets you on edge, with the vocals subdued and other parts sounding like their being played from the back of an empty hall (to good effect). Really worth the wait! Full Review »
  3. Apr 28, 2011
    5
    I've listened to this album several times over the past three years and each time I walk away with mixed feelings. On one hand, Beth Gibbons'I've listened to this album several times over the past three years and each time I walk away with mixed feelings. On one hand, Beth Gibbons' wonderfully haunting vocals remain and make my ears happy. On the other hand, this is not the same Portishead that made me fall in love with them all those years ago.

    They've completely abandoned the classic Trip Hop sound that they essentially helped pioneer. Change is not always a bad thing, but I fear they they've ventured so far as to remove themselves from the realm of my tea cup.

    Third is by no means a "bad" album, but it's not a direct evolution of the sound that made Dummy and Self Titled so amazing either. It has moments of greatness, but to me falls flat more often than not. I probably won't ever stop listening to Third, but each time I do I'll wish wish it had been something more.
    Full Review »