Beth Gibbons - 'Lives Outgrown'

8/10

Despite such a short run of releases during their tenure, the legacy of Portishead has been extremely far reaching. Bringing the atmospheric side to the trip-hop genre to wider audiences than ever before, Beth Gibbons' iconic vocals have been some of the more recognisable over the years, as she quickly became the forward face for the genre as a whole. And now 59 years old, she is branching out on her own to deliver her eagerly-awaited debut album 'Lives Outgrown', a record that sees her revitalise herself for a modern ear.

Keeping the aesthetic of her initial solo effort fairly close to her work with Portishead, she has used this new full-length as an opportunity to explore a multitude of immersive ideas at every turn. With her broad yet haunting vocals just as compelling as ever, 'Lives Outgrown' has this sad and brooding aura to it, seeing her in this far more emotive guise that is less about euphoric production and more in line with her own heartfelt essence as an artist.

Beth Gibbons will always be one of the more important names in modern music, and 'Lives Outgrown' shows that she is still able to deliver something truly powerful when she wants to. Breathing with this romantic approach to both sound and direction, she shines across this beautifully composed new offering.

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