Got the second Portishead cd at the library. Pretty stunning. They're one of those countless bands that I've always read glowing things about, but have never gotten around to hearing. My only objection is that the gal singing (Beth Gibbons) emphasizes the nasally, cutting edge of her voice more often than she needs to. She clearly has some good vocal abilities, and uses them accordingly. I could stand to hear more of her subtle, breathy, back-of-the-throat singing more often. That fingernails on blackboard singing fits some of the tunes, but a little goes a long way with me. Having said that, what an amazing, dark, creepy, hazy musical world those folks have created. David Lynch nightmare druggy evil clown music. The perfect soundtrack to Cindy McCain following you through the woods in a blood-stained wedding dress while clutching a meat-cleaver and smiling the whole time as she softly intones, "turn around and look into my eyes, my eyes, my sweet white eyes..."
mh - 2008