Portishead's third album is initially more a record to admire than to love, its muscular synthesisers, drum breaks and abrupt endings keeping the tension high. But after several listens, Third's majesty unfurls. Propulsive Krautrock rhythms and German radio samples conjure up Eastern bloc minimalism in Silence, Small and the jaw-dropping We Carry On, while soft, organic textures add depth to the icy shallows elsewhere. When Deep Water appears, it is shocking: a minute and 33 seconds of sweet ukulele doo-wop that bring to mind a 78 discovered in a nuclear fallout. Elsewhere, the ominously titled Threads and Plastic show how strong Portishead have become.–guardian.co.uk
Creating an appealing post-modern rockabilly sound for the Camden Town crowd may seem like a challenge, but the London-based siblings Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis Durham make it appear effortless. For their latest album, The Third, which is exclusively streaming below, the trio molded a nostalgia-soaked menagerie of tunes with country, jazz, blues, and straight rock- 'n'-roll melodies. The mod album opener, "Whenever You See Me," provides a punchy, riot grrrl-esque ode to female empowerment; "Good Looking Woman" evokes the '50s era Ray Charles songbook; and the horn-heavy "Turkish Delight" is infused with equal parts ska and jazz.
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Us3’s multi-million selling debut album “Hand On The Torch”. In honour of that, the new Us3 album “The Third Way (Hand On The Torch Vol II)” marks a return to the classic Us3 sound, with 5 of the 14 tracks containing interpolations of a number of well-known jazz standards, including Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca”, Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”, and Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder”.
MC duties are taken by 3 former Us3 collaborators; Akil Dasan (“Schizophonic” & “Say What!?”), KCB (“Broadway & 52nd”), and Tukka (“Hand On The Torch”). A video for the lead track “Never Go Back” can be seen on the Us3videos channel on YouTube (from September 16th).