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Third Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

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  • Summary: The English rock band returns with its first studio album in 11 years.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. 100
    Third is the most stunning, stark and superb Portishead album yet. [May 2008, p.84]
  2. Here, the sad sounds aren't quite so soothing, but that human element of Portishead gives them a sense of comfort, just as it intensifies their sense of mystery, for it is the flaws--often quite intentional--that give this an unknowable soul and make Third utterly riveting and endlessly absorbing.
  3. Third concludes with a string of stunners that feature sawing cello, improvisatory bursts of horns, and the most cathartic vocal performance Gibbons has ever set to tape, respectively. [Spring 2008, p.79]
  4. Portishead's methods are hardly frozen in time. And that evolution is what makes these elaborately layered tracks such a knotty, mesmerizing listen.
  5. The good news for people who love bad news is that Portishead have gotten better, too.
  6. Yet far from being miserable, this is a record substantially more alive than its eponymous predecessor.
  7. 30
    It's groove-deprived and difficult, and not in a particularly inventive way. [May 2008, p.78]

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 83
  2. Negative: 9 out of 83
  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... Expand
  2. JesseShort
    May 4, 2008
    10
    Just keep listening to it. It's not always easy, but what is worthwhile never is.
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. DwongK.
    May 4, 2008
    9
    Easily one of the best albums of the year.
  5. Joe
    May 24, 2009
    9
    A nice album. I have never heard any of their earlier work but this is a very nice album.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 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? Expand

See all 83 User Reviews