from BALDWIN, WI
Reviewed on 6/11/2010...
I put on Dummy recently, expecting it to have aged miserably. In fact, it almost seems fresher now than it did nearly a decade ago, when it defined trip-hop for the mainstream, merging the eerie darkness of Massive Attack with hard-edged, sludgy hip-hop beats. The album still vividly evokes gritty alleyways and urban black holes, Beth Gibbons' languid torch croon dripping like ether over warm, crackly vinyl and shadowy guitar. Her longing, sensual lyrics were ripe with forbidden sexuality, but the tightly mic'd, ominous instrumentation and close, whispered vocals oozed claustrophobia. In 1994, this album's seismic blast rippled across the globe from a Bristol epicenter, influencing a legion of leaders and followers to spin their own dark webs; that it's one of the few trip-hop statements that still shatters preconceptions today merely proves how forward thinking it really was.