Portishead

Sour Times [UK]

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All of Portishead's singles have done a good job of offering reformed versions of their album tracks (the "Glory Box" single is particularly good with this) -- Sour Times includes two new versions of Dummy's "Numb," and an odd, almost grungy rock version of "Sour Times" itself. More interesting, however, are the 11-minute "A Tribute to Monk and Canatella" (a minimal, jazz-oriented composition focusing on Rhodes organ) and best of all, the theme from "To Kill a Dead Man," a semi-fictional film "scored" by the group. The theme takes Portishead's soundtrack tendencies to an extreme, resulting in a gorgeous sweep of noir- and spy-movie drama that stands as the group's best compositional work.