The taste of life
I can't describe
It's chocking on my mind
Reaching out I can't believe
Faith it can't decide
We Carry On by Portishead

This song was originally called Peaches, which makes sense. The fruits represent the vital and sensuous taste of life that makes a mockery of the daily grind through which we force ourselves to carry on.

This could refer to the grind of life in general, or maybe the going-through-the-motions of a romance gone stale and inert

In any case, the cost of carrying on may well be self-deception; the heart knows the truth, and bleeds because of it.

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It's just a thought
I've said enough
Don't you know life turns me
Always wants me
I can hardly pray
Plastic by Portishead

All she can do is affirm that she is alive, a person with thoughts and feelings, flesh and blood.

This expresses a brooding resentment for the denial of self, as if the person knows this simply can’t go on, but is helpless and without recourse.

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I wonder why
I don't know what you see
Plastic by Portishead

Unfortunately, their relationship is pretty dire. There appears to be no empathy or communication.

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On your stage
A show that you create
All by yourself
I am nowhere
You never noticed
You were so sure
Plastic by Portishead

Gibbons feels like Pinocchio in her relationship: a lifeless, plastic marionette on her lover’s stage. Just as Pinocchio prayed to be a real boy, she wants to be treated with equality and respect.

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I'd like to laugh at what you said
But I just can't find a smile
Nylon Smile by Portishead

A nylon smile is not an authentic smile; it is a pretense, slipped on like some piece of lingerie designed only to please one’s partner.

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I can't see nothing good
And nothing is so bad
I never had a chance
To explain exactly what I meant
Nylon Smile by Portishead

Contrary to what she desired in the first chorus, the speaker doesn’t wish to be satisfied with her sadness, she longs to care enough to change it, and she can’t explain what she means because she’s under the impression that she’s neglected and isolated.

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Looking out I want to know someone might care
Looking out I want a reason to be there
Cause I don't know what I've done to deserve you
And I don't know what I'll do without you
Nylon Smile by Portishead

The speaker doesn’t know what she did to deserve all of her sadness, but she’s had it so long that she doesnt know if she can live without it, she wants to have a reason to be happy, because right now she is okay with her sadness, as shown in Verse 2.

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No-one said
We'd ever known each other
And new evidence is what we require
In this world
Hunter by Portishead

In this world where there’s not enough love and intimacy, the speaker and her partner feel the need for signs of love.

It seems that the narrator doesn’t believe she’d get them by asking for them directly, except for waiting for awhile.

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I stand on the edge of a broken sky
And I will come down; don't know why
And if I should fall, would you hold me?
Would you pass me by?
For you know I'd ask you for nothing
Just to wait for a while
Hunter by Portishead

Hunting has pretty much always been used as a metaphor for courtship.

Perhaps there is something fundamentally flawed about the comparison. It assumes everyone is predator and/or prey, and turns love into a cyclical process ( we consume, then move on to fresh meat, over and over again). Not many prospects for comfort and security in a world of one-night stands.

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[Produced by Portishead] Silence by Portishead

Multi-Instrumentalist Geoff Barrow explained to Observer Music Monthly (March) about this track:

The vibe I really wanted was when Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman at the Rumble in the Jungle and James Brown played. I wanted it to feel like it had been recorded somewhere really remote."

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