I'm not too sure about you guys, but the most disappointing album that I have bought in the past few years has been "Third" by Portishead. I know that when a band disappears for 12 years you shouldn't expect them to sound exactly the same when they return, but when I heard it, I couldn't believe this was the same band responsible for one of the 90s greatest albums, "Dummy."
Where was the humanity behind the heavily processed beats that made the band so famous? "Machine Gun" still gives me an ear-ache trying to listen to it, and the only song worth listening to is "Deep Water", a 90 second ukulele ballad. For a while I've tried to imagine what I would've liked the album to sound like.
But as of today, I no longer need to imagine, as I've discovered Canadian duo The Meek Odyssey. On their track "Risky Business", they have taken the trip-hop formula that Portishead concocted all those years ago, and have updated them for the 21st century, with heavily compressed sampled drums, atmospheric synth washes, hearty string samples, and of course the honeyed vocals of Megan Keetly, which both echoes that of Beth Gibbons, with a little bit of Bjork thrown in for good measure. Sometimes, a little disappointment can lead to greater things.
"Risky Business" will feature on the band's debut album "Florid New Hymns", which is out on 25th September.