In the mid-1990s, the dreamy-but-grooving sound of trip-hop was confined to the U.K. underground until Portishead brought it to the worldwide mainstream. Combining electronics, lush production, Ennio Morricone-like guitar breaks, and angelic singing from frontwoman Beth Gibbons, the band became a leader of the trip-hop movement. After its second album, the band went on hiatus and Gibbons eventually went the solo route with her critically lauded 2002 album, OUT OF SEASON. After a decade apart, the band would reunite for a third record simply titled THIRD.
Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD - playable on all CD players) pressing. Universal. 2008.
The collaboration of studio whiz Geoff Barrow and singer Beth Gibbons, Dummy was made at the same time as a short film noir called "To Kill a Dead Man," and the same approach--gloomy, tormented, and wildly melodramatic--permeates the album. "Sour Times" (the hit in which Gibbons cries, again and again, "Nobody loves me, it''s true") and the more cryptic "Glory Box" are the linchpins of the album, defining its sound: dark flashes of old soul and film music, dehumanized electronic bleeps, Gibbons emoting like she''s consumed by shame, and a bass-and-beat pulse derived from the slow bump and grind of the Bristol scene that spawned Barrow''s old collaborators, Massive Attack. --Douglas Wolk