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01 February 2005

That Voice

BethgibbonsYou may remember the band Portishead for its mix of haunting vocals and trippy, alien sounds. Beth Gibbons ( is the vocalist responsible for the ‘haunting vocals’ side of Portishead.

Out of Season, Her duo effort with Rustin Man (AKA Paul Webb of Talk Talk), sounds lower tech than most Portishead material. However, there are electronic effects and organ undertones mixed with its mostly acoustic lead. The result is a very unique and appealing album.

Out of Season begins with the song, “Mysteries.” It conjures up visions of a lonely campfire guitar sing-along with a distant, unseen choir. Out of Season masterfully fades into track two: “Tom the Model.” Ironically, Tom the Model reminds me of a re-mixed Tom Jones song - wavering organs giving way to a brass-driven chorus. Ms. Gibbons’ vocals are a rare gem (not unlike a well-made Viognier*). If you’ve never heard her before, you owe it to yourself to get this album.

*if this album were wine: A slightly chilled Viognier with seemingly delicate scents of honeysuckle and apricot; unfolding, as it warms, to a full-bodied, spicy wine


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