• Record Label: Mercury
  • Release Date: Apr 29, 2008
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 158

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  1. michaele.
    May 3, 2008
    10
    Not one of these lame combacks, but a brilliant return to form and class with disturbingly fresh sounds. Beth Gibbons' voice has found new territories to move along!
  2. 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 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 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... Expand
  3. giannym.
    Apr 30, 2008
    10
    Brilliant and great!
  4. JoolsH.
    Apr 30, 2008
    10
    The Masterpiece of the century.
  5. PeterX.
    May 22, 2008
    10
    Classical rock enviroment, dense & brutal. Kraftwerk/Pan Sonic meets the Pink Floyd. Albert Ayler laughs at the corner.
  6. SimonV.
    May 2, 2008
    10
    Superb Album. Elements of radiohead/björk in places. Nice to see them still being 'Portishead' but moving things on and not riding the orchestra/strings coat tails of the past. A perfect soundtrack to a movie. Still got the haunting thing down to a tee...
  7. JesseShort
    May 4, 2008
    10
    Just keep listening to it. It's not always easy, but what is worthwhile never is.
  8. MarkR.
    May 8, 2008
    10
    exceptional, truly exceptional, i would implore anyone who cannot immediately get to grips with it to persevere. it is dark and unsettling in a way that will annoy the coffee table fans of their previous work, which is also a bonus : ). a pretty good litmus test for those that have real taste in music and those that just think they do ; )
  9. DanielS
    Oct 19, 2008
    10
    The first time I listened to Third I was superstoned and cleaning my house. As I was upstairs and the music was downstairs, it mostly sounded just like noise. When I went downstairs for a better quality sound, the Album was already on track 7, Deep Water. This song got me intrigued in the album. Machine gun came on, a whack beat, but I tried to be openminded and did end up loving it by The first time I listened to Third I was superstoned and cleaning my house. As I was upstairs and the music was downstairs, it mostly sounded just like noise. When I went downstairs for a better quality sound, the Album was already on track 7, Deep Water. This song got me intrigued in the album. Machine gun came on, a whack beat, but I tried to be openminded and did end up loving it by the end of the song. Small came next and I knew I had a gem. So dark it fries your mind and sends a shiver down your neck. I listened to the rest of the album and I haven't stopped listening to this album on a daily basis for the last two months. I must admit, this shit makes me quiver with delight. At first I used be comatozed whenever I got to listen to it on my headphones, but today I'm singing and dancing to it. Honestly, this album makes you dance like you've never danced before. Best album since Amon Tobin's Foley Room and Cannibal Ox The Cold Vein. Expand
  10. SamB
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    much 'cooler' than their others. melodrama is a little more weighted in inventive melodies and recordings
  11. Will
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    Portishead's 'second debut' certainly isn't for the faint hearted. At first it proves to be a difficult listen but over time that initial fear it hits you with turns into excitement. They've ditched the 'trip hop' for more upbeat songs, but with Beth's voice and Utley's magnificent guitar work this is still unmistakenly the Portished we all Portishead's 'second debut' certainly isn't for the faint hearted. At first it proves to be a difficult listen but over time that initial fear it hits you with turns into excitement. They've ditched the 'trip hop' for more upbeat songs, but with Beth's voice and Utley's magnificent guitar work this is still unmistakenly the Portished we all know and love! Album of the year so far. Expand
  12. AlexZ
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    This is their best effort yet. They're not coming up with a new sound but they have taken their trip hop sound to a level of perfection.
  13. Sean
    Apr 30, 2008
    10
    Even though I agree with their score, I absolutely do not agree with what The Onion actually says in their review. This album is NOTHING like coffee-shop music. What kind of coffee shops does that critic frequent? This is highly experimental, challenging electronica right here.
  14. AJP
    May 1, 2008
    10
    Stunning beyond what words can only describe. A triumphant comeback exceeding previous albums by 1000-fold.
  15. ChrisS.
    May 22, 2008
    10
    It's their best album so far. It's no easy-listening, and it takes some time, but it's definetely worth the effort. I LOVE IT!
  16. Jason
    May 4, 2008
    10
    ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!!
  17. DommiR.
    May 6, 2008
    10
    Orgasmic.
  18. AlbertoU.
    May 7, 2008
    10
    Why bothering about people who find this album difficult? This is the best album of the year, none other.
  19. ArtoS.
    Jul 29, 2008
    10
    The most haunting albums of Portishead...brilliantly complicated and emotional...the combination alt-rock+electronic music has never sounded so fresh like "Third" does...
  20. AniruddhaB
    Apr 13, 2009
    10
    The best thing by portishead... and one of my favourite albums of all time.
  21. Ray
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    Wow. Anyone labelling this album as "difficult" or "unmelodic" is hardly worth paying attention to. Such a fine atmospheric delight.
  22. DiegoL.
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    What's wrong with Blender?? Third is one of the best albums of 2008. It's obscurely extraordinary.
  23. mattv
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    Simply amazing, stunning work. I've had it since this afternoon and listened to it 4 times. I haven't had this kind of first day experience with an album in a very long time. It's breathtakingly good. And the people at Blender need a brain exam.
  24. Patches.
    May 10, 2008
    10
    Brilliant!
  25. JoshuaG.
    May 1, 2008
    10
    A wartime masterpiece. This is the sound of now.
  26. Zach
    May 16, 2008
    10
    It's acoustic despair, but brilliant.
  27. Dave
    May 3, 2008
    10
    Well, I figured the reviews for this would be all over the place and sure enough they are. As much as I LOVE Dummy, I think I like this as much as that masterpiece. It took a few listens, but I am totally loving Third now. Machine Gun, We Carry On, The Rip and Silence are as good as anything Portishead has done. Yes, it is very different from "Dummy" and "Portishead", but it is no less Well, I figured the reviews for this would be all over the place and sure enough they are. As much as I LOVE Dummy, I think I like this as much as that masterpiece. It took a few listens, but I am totally loving Third now. Machine Gun, We Carry On, The Rip and Silence are as good as anything Portishead has done. Yes, it is very different from "Dummy" and "Portishead", but it is no less great. I really thing this may be not only one of the best of this year, but this decade. I was lucky enough to catch their only North American live performance at Coachella, and it was nothing short of brilliant! Expand
  28. JackT.
    May 7, 2008
    10
    It's Gorgeous! It takes a few spins to correctly wrap your brain around it's thorny sides. Gone, would be the shiney production. and comfortableness. Anyone familiar with the last album knows that hints of this direction were ever present in songs like "half-day Closing". If Portishead were to come out of a ten year coma sounding exactly like Portishead in 94 and 97, we'd It's Gorgeous! It takes a few spins to correctly wrap your brain around it's thorny sides. Gone, would be the shiney production. and comfortableness. Anyone familiar with the last album knows that hints of this direction were ever present in songs like "half-day Closing". If Portishead were to come out of a ten year coma sounding exactly like Portishead in 94 and 97, we'd quickly write them off as just wanting cash in on what made them famous: Authoring a sound and being THE face of "trip hop". But, come on... This 2008. We live in fear induced enviroment, post 911 and currently in a war... this is reflected in the anxiety ridden landscape of Third. Beth Gibbons voice is the only tangible sign of comfort leading us through the darkest hallways of reality. Highlights Like "The Rip","Hunter" and "deep water" underscore what still remains present... Portisheads cinematic niche. 10! Expand
  29. JoseY.
    May 28, 2009
    10
    What a masterpiece! So innovative, noisy, powerful, delicate, beautiful... Try to make a beautiful melody just kicking empty plastic bottles and throwing cans to the air. If you think that's impossible, well, that's easier than what Barrow did on this album. And what can we say about Gibbons' voice? Her singing is enormously sweet and complex over painfully dark lyrics. And What a masterpiece! So innovative, noisy, powerful, delicate, beautiful... Try to make a beautiful melody just kicking empty plastic bottles and throwing cans to the air. If you think that's impossible, well, that's easier than what Barrow did on this album. And what can we say about Gibbons' voice? Her singing is enormously sweet and complex over painfully dark lyrics. And who said it's an album to admire, not to listen to? I am listening this album at least once a week since it was released and never get tired of it. One of my top five albums (along to Franz Ferdinand, The downward spiral, OK computer and Trans-Europe Express). Now, if you excuse me, I have to leave you. I have to listen to Machine Gun. Again. Expand
  30. dodomo
    Apr 28, 2008
    10
    Re-invented and perfect!
  31. TaffyP.
    May 18, 2008
    10
    Smply outstanding, easily one of,if not, the best comeback albums of all time.
  32. Roberto
    Jun 13, 2008
    10
    A very challenging album, but it is Portishead at its best: dark, sometimes claustrophobic and oppressive; but at the same time the sound has an organic quality that makes it unique. A modern masterpiece.
  33. PaulR
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    Going from the reviews on here, it's obviously an album you either get or you don't. But if you do get it, the rewards are there to be reaped. This is easily their best album and all the more astonishing is the fact it's been released after a hiatus of 11 years. This and Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp are my two favourite albums of 2008.
  34. Aug 30, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If darkness can find an image perfectly involved into kindness, it´s in Third, a majestic point of view of how music can speak for itself. And we can´t say it doesn´t exist when Portishead must firmly make us hear it does. Expand
  35. Mar 11, 2011
    10
    I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM FOR MANY YEARS NOW AND I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN. SURE IT HAS MANY NEW SOUNDS BUT IT PUSHES PORTISHEAD INTO A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF GREAT MUSIC. PORTISHEAD A SEXY ROCK BAND? YOU BE THE JUDGE! AFTER MANY YEARS OF WAITING FOR ANYTHING NEW THEY TRULY DELIVER THE GOODS. BE SURE TO GIVE IT MORE THAN JUST ONE LISTEN BECAUSE LIKE ANYTHING GREAT IT GROWSI HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM FOR MANY YEARS NOW AND I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN. SURE IT HAS MANY NEW SOUNDS BUT IT PUSHES PORTISHEAD INTO A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF GREAT MUSIC. PORTISHEAD A SEXY ROCK BAND? YOU BE THE JUDGE! AFTER MANY YEARS OF WAITING FOR ANYTHING NEW THEY TRULY DELIVER THE GOODS. BE SURE TO GIVE IT MORE THAN JUST ONE LISTEN BECAUSE LIKE ANYTHING GREAT IT GROWS ON YOU AND NEVER LET'S GO. Expand
  36. AlexA.
    Apr 30, 2008
    9
    Their best and most emotional effort yet.
  37. DecepticonPom
    May 5, 2008
    9
    A satisfying challenge of a listen. Too early to compare to the first two - ask me again in a year.
  38. leiris
    Jul 28, 2008
    9
    Excellent - as good as anything they've released.
  39. aw
    May 30, 2008
    9
    Amazing. After repeated listens, it grows on you like a weed.
  40. DwongK.
    May 4, 2008
    9
    Easily one of the best albums of the year.
  41. 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 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 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! Expand
  42. GuyH
    May 12, 2008
    9
    This album is really on the pulse and that is the greatest compliment you can pay a band who haven't released any new material in over 10 years. 'We Carry On' is the surging adrenaline and panicking heartbeat at the centre of this very scary ride. It's the sound of our collective urban nightmare! 'The Rip' is an instant classic - just beautiful and yes, a bit This album is really on the pulse and that is the greatest compliment you can pay a band who haven't released any new material in over 10 years. 'We Carry On' is the surging adrenaline and panicking heartbeat at the centre of this very scary ride. It's the sound of our collective urban nightmare! 'The Rip' is an instant classic - just beautiful and yes, a bit sad. 'Machine Gun' and 'Plastic' wear obvious Aphex Twin and Burial influences but are still uniquely different to anything else out there. Comeback of the year Expand
  43. DanC.
    Jun 5, 2008
    9
    Really great, has improved with repeat listenings immensely..thoroughly recommended.
  44. ChrisC.
    Jan 18, 2009
    9
    Portishead proves once again that they are true artists. They are still a haunting band of depth that goes against the grain without sounding pretentious.
  45. TimC
    May 29, 2009
    9
    Simply superb.
  46. RicardoC
    Jul 25, 2009
    9
    I can't really understand how Blender found this album difficult, the album is amazing. If you listen to it carefully and loud, its even better. One of my favourite.
  47. Clif
    Nov 3, 2008
    9
    People who rate it under 8 are totally insane! This album is pure genius, and not noise, as we can sometimes read (Brian, for example). It's simply different sounds, repetitive sometimes, but this to penetrate in your soul. Machine Gun, The Rip, Hunter & Silence are simply pure genius! And don't forget that real artists evolue, and Portishead just couldn't do another People who rate it under 8 are totally insane! This album is pure genius, and not noise, as we can sometimes read (Brian, for example). It's simply different sounds, repetitive sometimes, but this to penetrate in your soul. Machine Gun, The Rip, Hunter & Silence are simply pure genius! And don't forget that real artists evolue, and Portishead just couldn't do another strictly Trip-Hop album, it would be great, yeah, but so repetitive (because their previous and first 2 albums were pure Trip-Hop). We can't deny that Portishead is one of the best bands with Radiohead. Like Grace Jones says, people who only care and rate Pussycat Doll's (or things like that pile of shit) better than Portishead are Corporate Cannibals! Expand
  48. MattW.
    Dec 22, 2008
    9
    Hands down, the best thing Portishead have ever done.
  49. JamesB.
    Jul 22, 2008
    9
    Outstanding comeback album by Portishead! It's beautifully and darkly sublime. I'm not the least put off by the changes in their "trip hop" sound. And Beth's vocals are, of course, amazing and indelibly haunting. "Third" is easily one of the best albums in 2008!
  50. Joe
    May 24, 2009
    9
    A nice album. I have never heard any of their earlier work but this is a very nice album.
  51. Mar 27, 2011
    9
    When I first listened to this album, I really did not like it at all. It was loud and abrasive, and left me feeling quite unsettled. It's strange, but that's exactly what I love about this album now. That very first track pulls you in slowly, builds and builds and then socks you square in the guts. And that sets the tone for the album perfectly. It's full of big, bold sounds, hauntingWhen I first listened to this album, I really did not like it at all. It was loud and abrasive, and left me feeling quite unsettled. It's strange, but that's exactly what I love about this album now. That very first track pulls you in slowly, builds and builds and then socks you square in the guts. And that sets the tone for the album perfectly. It's full of big, bold sounds, haunting vocals, and fair few killer punches. 'The Rip' is gentle and full of emotion, 'Nylon Smile' brims with otherworldly mystery and 'Machine Gun' is exactly as it appears: loud, brutal and all-encompassing. This definitely is an album to listen to over and over to appreciate it's complexities, and one that should only be listened to in its entirety. Brilliant right to the end.â Expand
  52. Mar 21, 2012
    9
    Great third record from English experimenters. Not the most accessibly record you'll ever hear but it has loads of really good ideas that come together to make some really good tracks. The single, Machine Gun is my favourite track on it. This one sounds pretty much like it's title, and it's got a Terminator type theme climax to it. You have to listen to this to get what I'm talking aboutGreat third record from English experimenters. Not the most accessibly record you'll ever hear but it has loads of really good ideas that come together to make some really good tracks. The single, Machine Gun is my favourite track on it. This one sounds pretty much like it's title, and it's got a Terminator type theme climax to it. You have to listen to this to get what I'm talking about really. It's Portisheads' Kid A record. Unfortunately it's 4 years old now and who knows when we will get a follow up. Expand
  53. JodieL.
    May 8, 2008
    8
    This so far is one of the albums of the year. Incredibly interesting listen, it takes balls to move away from a formula that works, and that is why there are great bands that are trend-setters and on the other hand pretenders that just follow the norm like sheep. These guys are by no means sheep. Flavours of Kraftwerk, Suicide,Silver Apples etc. Not as loungey as their first two, a lot This so far is one of the albums of the year. Incredibly interesting listen, it takes balls to move away from a formula that works, and that is why there are great bands that are trend-setters and on the other hand pretenders that just follow the norm like sheep. These guys are by no means sheep. Flavours of Kraftwerk, Suicide,Silver Apples etc. Not as loungey as their first two, a lot darker and more disturbing, not so much vinyl scratching this is more beats orientated. Expand
  54. JimmyH.
    Apr 30, 2008
    8
    Has some of their best songs (The Rip, Plastic) and also their worst (nylon smile). But being the worst Portishead song is like being the slowest ferrari. A solid effort overall.
  55. BrandonS.
    Apr 29, 2008
    8
    Self titled sucked. This one's fresh.
  56. FernandoS.
    May 16, 2008
    8
    No esta al nivel de sus dos primeras obras, pero Portishead logra reinventarse , entregado un disco sorprendente, y muy por encima de la media.
  57. Oct 2, 2011
    8
    This is not my favorite album (though it probably is my favorite portishead record), but for some reason I always want to hear it again, and I keep coming back to it. It is so jarring and abrasive at times, but it is also so original and forward thinking, that my initial reaction is always forgotten and I end up giving it another spin.
  58. marcg
    Apr 29, 2008
    7
    Good but not great.
  59. JeremyF
    Apr 29, 2008
    7
    Some really amazing tracks ("The Rip", "We Carry On", "Machine Gun", and "Small") but the rest just kind of don't impress much. While there isn't any BAD tracks here, I would much rather go listen to Dummy ten times over.
  60. DMoney
    May 6, 2008
    7
    Fitfully brilliant music, iffy vocals. Not much hip-hop, no sex to speak of. A job well done by Mr. Barrow and Mr. Utley. Beth Gibbons, get over yourself.
  61. Apr 24, 2015
    7
    A fairly good but challenging album. This is definitely Portishead's most musically complex album, and the overall feeling is somewhat mysterious and ominous. I like it and think it's quite strong throughout, but I hesitate to rate it higher because there aren't really any standout tracks, other than perhaps We Carry On. For the most part, Third is about texture and atmosphere, so it'sA fairly good but challenging album. This is definitely Portishead's most musically complex album, and the overall feeling is somewhat mysterious and ominous. I like it and think it's quite strong throughout, but I hesitate to rate it higher because there aren't really any standout tracks, other than perhaps We Carry On. For the most part, Third is about texture and atmosphere, so it's great background music for studying, but not necessarily for normal listening. Expand
  62. thomasb.
    May 1, 2008
    6
    Her voice makes me cringe, but without it I would say that the album would prove a very interesting instrumental. I like the music, just hate the singer.
  63. TomH.
    May 24, 2008
    6
    Too many shortcomings for the makings of a classic: radio edit tracks, not much of an album theme, 6 good tracks.
  64. [Anonymous]
    Apr 28, 2008
    6
    As much as I absolutely love Beth Gibbons and Portishead, this newest album is rather disappointing. There is no melody and both the vocals and production are WEAK. I'm gonna have to lay the smack down on this one, it pretty much sucks, and am surprised at the amount of praise it is getting.
  65. AlecW
    May 6, 2008
    5
    I realise it's uncool to diss Portishead but I remember the shockwave when "dummy" came out. break beats and rolling bass with other worldly vocals, it took control of your sound system at the expense of everything else for weeks, months even. I've listened to 3rd and I reckon that if the Stone Roses deserved to get a mauling for "the second coming" then Phead deserve to get the I realise it's uncool to diss Portishead but I remember the shockwave when "dummy" came out. break beats and rolling bass with other worldly vocals, it took control of your sound system at the expense of everything else for weeks, months even. I've listened to 3rd and I reckon that if the Stone Roses deserved to get a mauling for "the second coming" then Phead deserve to get the same treatment for this one. In 20 years time how many people will put this down as (one of) their fave album(s) of all time? hm! Expand
  66. SteveO
    May 31, 2008
    5
    Hmmm... its different, ill give it that, but it doesnt take me anywhere.
  67. 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' 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
    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.
    Expand
  68. PaulM
    May 2, 2008
    4
    The only thing that sounds like Portishead on this album is Beth's great voice. They have crossed the fine line from moving the band in a new direction to completely abandoning the unique sound that Portishead is capable of. There's no rhythm, no electronic tweaking, and no way this album comes close to dummy or self titled.
  69. JacobL.
    May 7, 2008
    4
    Wow, what a dull album. Is this all it takes to impress people nowadays? Just some lame, thrown together beats and beth gibbons doing her "IM SAD" shitck, over and over again? Nothing happens on this album, just one unfinished attempt at songwriting after another. Bleh
  70. CatQ
    Jun 1, 2008
    4
    Im really dissapointed with this album, the songs often seem to get stuck in a rut and portishead have ditched the sexy film noir melancholy they were always so good at creating. Maybe thats due to age but if theyre looking for new paths i dont think theyve found the right one yet
  71. PatK.
    Jul 3, 2008
    4
    I just don't get the high ratings this has received. I find this CD unbearably boring.
  72. TheodoreRoosevelt
    May 1, 2008
    4
    It's meh. definitely overrated and definitely a disappointment..
  73. CraigK
    Jul 25, 2008
    4
    When so many bands and albums have covered this same sound and style so much better, Portishead's Third sounds like a mediocre imitation. I would rather listen to old albums than this one.
  74. ArujiJ.
    Jun 21, 2008
    4
    Pretentious self indulgent wank.
  75. vincent
    May 1, 2008
    3
    The music's ok, but beth gibbons is always off-key. its driving me crazy.
  76. EdW
    Apr 30, 2008
    3
    Wow. Difficult and unmelodic. Anyone named Ray is hardly worth paying attention to.
  77. MargotC.
    Jul 20, 2008
    3
    This is dreadful. i don't know how the band let this go out of the studio - didn't they listen to it and go red with embarrassment? I can't see what is innovative about out of tune caterwauling over 1980s German techno-style synths - appalling. Quality control was lost somewhere in the sycophancy of success.
  78. Dan
    Apr 29, 2008
    3
    Has the whole world gone mad! This album is a piece of shit. It's no way near the quality of Portishead's other albums.
  79. Brian
    Jul 28, 2008
    3
    I just don't get it. I loved the first two Portishead albums but this.. this is just pointless noise. I really don't get it.
  80. MartinS.
    Jun 30, 2008
    2
    King's clothes. I am tired of being sold tush by reviewers too scared to be counted. This is neither ground breaking nor compelling. A record that deserved to be made? By all means. A masterpiece? It most certainly is not. Infantile, deliberately dark lyrics become repetetive and predictable. Tuneless and lumpy. I want a refund.
  81. JakeF.
    Apr 30, 2008
    2
    Wow...I cannot believe the praise for this completely lackluster album. We waited 10 years for this?? Are you kidding me? The only real standout here is "The Rip" - everything else reeks of unreleased b-side material. Really - what have they been doing for the last decade. I did hear Beth's solo album a few years back and it was terrible - almost as bad as "Third".
  82. PatrickK.
    May 2, 2008
    1
    Dull, dull dull! The songs go nowhere. You get a sense they could only stand each other's presence enough to throw some beats together and leave it at that. Where is the songcraft?
  83. VinnyP
    May 12, 2008
    1
    I've tried listening to it...several times...and I'm still incredibly disappointed. The musicality is simple to the point of being boring. The few musical highlights get overused to make them boring as well. I don't understand the high marks here, other than Portishead is one of those bands that could s**t (which they did here) and the critics will love it.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. 30
    It's groove-deprived and difficult, and not in a particularly inventive way. [May 2008, p.78]
  2. Both ancient and futuristic, a mildewed signal from a more advanced culture that failed to survive the ice age, Third doesn’t make you pay attention to its desolate contours, but rather stare out of the window, creeping panic causing your mind to dart in a million dark directions at once.
  3. Long awaited comeback from Bristol trip-hop outfit proves worth the wait.