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Pete Schlenker <firstname.lastname@example.org> (09.11.2002)
I'll agree that this is an absolute mood album. A lot of the songs sound similar to each other, not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but adds to the total mood of the album. 'Sour Times' is what attracted me to this album, the poster child for "woe is me", dreary stuff. And it really works. George, I know you didn't like the scratches and turntable stuff, but I think it adds a certain, accent, to the music. Turntable effects (for lack of a better word) adds to heavily sampled music, putting a signature on the music. (I'll spare any rant against people who think that sampling isn't creating music... the MP3 page isn't a place to go on a tirade). And I personally think that music critics usually feel the need to trash 90% of artists, because the more you stand out, the more people would read your stuff. What fun is saying that really popular music is any good? And doesn't generate *nearly* the reaction (as someone who, on the Cream page I think, trashed Eric Clapton, I know *I* got a reaction :) And, for you Beth Gibbons fans out there, she reminds me a bit of Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl. Her work with Massive Attack on their album Protection is quite good, and is similar to Portishead.
cft-jpaley <email@example.com> (22.02.2002)
Yes, this is a deeply, deeply anguished record. But, in my experience, there are two main types of anguished records: there's the harrowing, all-out spine-tearing variety (step forward, Billy Corgan, Peter Hammill...), then there's the deeply moving, haunting and soul-baring variety. This definately falls into the latter of the species, and it's achingly beautiful. The record has a real masochistic effect upon the listener - you feel the pain expressed all too vividly, yet you can't help coming back time and time again! When I am sitting in the bath with that razor blade in ten years time, alone and with all hope gone (this is hypothetical...hopefully), the last thing I want to hear is Beth crooning her heart out on 'Roads'. Boy, the depth of that voice. There's nothing else like it.By the way, if you just can't get enough of Ms Gibbons, she has also released a collaboration with Rustin Man, entitled Out of Season. More blues and folk-orientated than P'head, but the voice (and the lyrics) are Beth through and through!
mike noto <firstname.lastname@example.org> (01.12.2005)
Yes this is a classic, but backwards messages? Like what kinds of backwards messages? I've never heard of that discussed with Dummy before. Or was that just your own personal joke? Anyway, yeah, a great album, and a great review. My favorite tracks are "Wandering Star,"Glory Box," "Mysterons," and "Pedestal."