10 Day Album Challenge #6: Portishead, Dummy

If you haven’t been following this series of posts, a friend of mine nominated me to do an album challenge. “The task is to post once per day for the next 10 days about the top ten albums that have an impact on your life, and to pay it forward by nominating someone else each day to do the same.”

Okay, so I’ll play. But I’m changing the rules to suit me. First of all, I’m not writing about this 10 days in a row. I will write about 10 albums, but only on the occasional “Music Monday”. And I refuse to nominate anyone else, because I try to avoid adding stress to the lives of the people I love. Having said that, if you’re reading this, and would like to take up the challenge, go for it!

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Hanging out on the tail end of the pop culture bell curve as I have always done, I’m just now hearing about the musical genre called “trip hop”, even though it was a thing back in the 90’s. It turns out that I’ve heard quite a bit of trip hop since then (you probably have, too), and I’ve always liked it. I just never thought to pigeon hole it into its own genre.

Trip hop is definitely in a class by itself. It’s psychedelic, it’s got a bass beat, it’s electronic, it’s got a beat box hip hop vibe. It has a funky soul. It brings out a mood in me like no other type of music does.

Now that I know what trip hop is, I have to say that by far my favorite trip hop album is Dummy, by a band called Portishead. You can listen to the entire album on Youtube, and I highly recommend that you do. But if you only have time to listen to one song, make it Glory Box. That’s my favorite, and it will give you a strong sense of the sound.

When I talk about this album (and now, this genre), I often rely on descriptions of how it makes me feel. It’s like being transported to some hip coffee shop where everyone, you’re absolutely sure, is much cooler than you are. It’s like being extremely tired, but not wanting to go to sleep because you’re having so much fun. It’s like being chemically altered in the best possible way. It’s like listening to music from the depths of a tin can. You hear every record scratch and pop, and that synthetic twisty bendy vibe you get from a really psychedelic horror movie sound track, and you know that all the sounds, individually, would probably irritate you, but together, man, they’re perfect. You feel like you’re experiencing musical vertigo, and that’s just fine.

Check out this album. Expect to be transported to someplace strange, but intriguing.

Portishead Dummy

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