Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Talk Talk Series, #5: Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man- Time Out of Season (2002) / Live Barcelona (2003) MP3 & FLAC

"If only you had told her the words to unfold her long ago."

During Portishead's interminably mysterious ten year hiatus, Beth Gibbons collaborated with ex-Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (aka Rustin Man) on something approaching a solo project, which musically is quite a departure from her better-known work. In the context of Portishead's sample-heavy musical approach, Gibbons vocals, while serving as emotional catalyst for the music, really only comprise one treated element among many in the mix, which is, of course, one of the things that make their sound so distinctive. In contrast, on Time Out of Season, Gibbons' vocals step out front and center, something which accentuates their trademark pathos but adds a fragile nakedness not heard from her on previous recordings. The mood of the album is one of ethereal desolation, as Webb and Portishead's Adrian Utley provide a mostly acoustic backing that moves back and forth between folk and jazz inflected arrangements. For example, on the haunting lead track, "Mysteries," Gibbon's heartbreaking vocals are accompanied by a simple acoustic guitar arpeggio; however, it is Gibbons' multi-tracked backing vocals that take the song to another level, giving it an eerie nursery rhyme-like feel. "Drake," true to it's title, sounds like a lost track from Nick Drake's Bryter Layter, with Gibbons' laconic delivery and the funereal Jazz arrangement tapping in to Drake's unique brand of despair. It's truly a shame that (so far), Time Out of Season stands as a one-off collaboration because the album is brimming with intriguing possibilities that could have only been pursued to more stunning results on a second go-around. Quietly devastating indeed!

Time Out of Season
 1. Mysteries  (4:39)
 2. Tom the Model  (3:40)
 3. Show  (4:27)
 4. Romance  (5:10)
 5. Sand River  (3:49)
 6. Spider Monkey  (4:09)
 7. Resolve  (2:49)
 8. Drake  (3:52)
 9. Funny Time of Year  (6:49)
10. Rustin Man  (4:21)

Live in Barcelona 2003 (Bootleg: Soundboard)
 1. Rustin Man  (2:27)
 2. Mysteries  (4:34)
 3. Romance  (5:32)
 4. Drake  (4:40)
 5. Resolve  (3:38)
 6. Spider Monkey  (5:22)
 7. Tom the Model  (5:03)
 8. Sand River  (4:52)
 9. Funny Time of Year  (9:58)
10. Candy Says  (6:03)
11. Show  (5:01)


  1. Thanks for reminding me of existence of this album, voixautre. I remember that it impressed me back then when it was released, but I must also admit I hardly listened to it ever since.

    While definitely not on Talk Talk or Portishead level when it comes to emotional impact, songwriting quality, significance or timelessness, I'm fond to have it as it brings some good memories back to me.

    My favourite songs are "Spider Monkey", "Drake" and "Funny Time Of Year".

  2. Hi Michael, it is definitely a good listen, though, as I mentioned in the review, I would have like to hear what a second album would have sounded like. We move into middle period greatness with the next tt post

  3. I had no idea this existed. Can't wait to give it a listen. thanks.

  4. ana, let me know what you think

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this CD. I have not heard it but the write-up sounds simpy amazing. A new day, a new treasure. Many thanks! Kurt

  6. Kurt, it's a really interesting album, and it's nice to hear Gibbons' amazing voice in a different setting

  7. I'm impressed voixautre, the TT series has already exceeded expectation(s).
    But, this live version is for me the current highlight and I thank you for sharing this with us.

    Michael Too

  8. Hi, one of the most beautiful albums of the 2000's in my opinion. I heard it many times and it's still a beauty.

    For me the bootleg is new and I like it.

    I agree a second album should be made.

    Thanks again.

  9. Michael, thank you. I thought the bootleg would be a nice surprise. I've still got some surprises coming for the Talk Talk series :)

  10. Lon, unfortunately, after 8+ years, I don't see it happening, but I guess it's possible


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