It’s been almost 11 years since Portishead released their last self-titled album (I’m not counting Roseland NYC Live). The three member group of Adrian Utley, Geoff Barrow and more prominent Beth Gibbons have been often credited with making the trip hop genre more mainstream. Originating out of Bristol, UK, Portishead introduced their hometown sound to the commercial radio waves in 1994 with Dummy. With downtempo hip-hop beats, a touch of turntablism, and Gibbons’ staple vocals, Portishead instantly created their own style and with that came a vast following. It’s no wonder then, that when appropriately titled Third album hit the shelves, it was snatched with a hunger. Prior to the album’s street date it was released on last.fm and attracted over 327,000 listeners within 24 hours. On Third, Portishead experiments in a darker territory, a bit brooding and at times almost industrial in nature, while rewarding the listener with a familiar voice. There are many unforgettable moments on the album when you find yourself go “what” and “nice“. Perhaps there is not much revolutionary on Third for some, and they may not feel justified for the waiting period. Nevertheless you can’t just let it slip by. Portishead remains a favorite and after consecutive rotations, Third climbs to the my list of “Best of 2008 so far…” I still love and play the first two albums. [Gibbons also released a solo album titled Candy Says in 2003]. Favorite tracks: Plastic and Machine Gun.