It Could Be Sweet
It's a Fire
Portishead's debut isn't just one of the best albums to rise from the short-lived trip-hop movement—it's one of the best albums of the '90s, period. Combining languid breakbeats and haunting synths, the album is a downtempo spy novel, evoking dark alleys, loaded glances, and sinister undercurrents. Beth Gibbons sings like a caged bird, resilient yet full of sorrow, and partner-in-crime Geoff Barrow builds beats like a cinematographer composes a frame, deftly balancing light and shadow. This thing will give you chills.