Artist: Portishead

Album: Live: Roseland NYC

Released: 1998

Review by: punkis

This live CD was taped at a 1997 concert at the Roseland in NYC and features the band and a backing symphony. For those of you who don't know, Portishead is generally lumped into the 'Trip Hop' category. While I don't really consider it to be Trip Hop, it is excellent and extremely undefinable music.

Most of the music has a dark and moody sound which is one of the reasons I find it so appealing. One of the hallmarks of the music has got to be the background effects supplied by DJ and sometimes percusionist Geoff Barrows. What makes his backgrounds so impressive is the fact that he rarely samples other bands' music as most DJ's do. Most of the samples are supplied by the band themselves. Don't think it's possible to have a DJ "scratching" to songs backed by a symphony? Well he pulls it off amazingly.

To top it all off the lead singer, Beth Gibbons, has one of the most beutiful and unique voices I have ever heard. Her voice blends perfectly with the backdrop supplied by the band and symphony. Her lyrics comes off as full of passion and from the heart.

The CD contains 11 tracks, all of which are standout performances. I am a big fan of Porishead and am probably a bit biased but if I were stranded on a desert island with only 10 CD's this would be one of them. One of the reasons I find Portishead's music so appealing is the fact that you can listen to it while your working which is a big plus for me.

There is also a videotape of the same concert available, although the track listing is a bit different than the CD. I highly suggest that you pick up the video as well. Prtishead is one of those bands that rarely does tours or even press. This may be your only real chance to see them perform live.

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