Psychedelic rock: the open canvas of sonic creativity.
Alaskan outfit Portugal. the Man have certainly built a name for themselves within their own genre and have now created a new gloss on their successful formula with In the Mountain In the Cloud. Exploring this album is the equivalent to driving a light purple hearse on a road straight to a star millions of miles away; the rush of the feeling is delectable yet the vertical ride becomes repetitive over the passing time.
Portugal. the Man certainly knows its talents and precisely how to show them off through eccentric compositions and a bundle of well-crafted hooks that offer heaps of delicious verve. The lovely thing about this record, more so this artist, is how well they embrace psychedelic rock and fully load their sound on this beautiful openness the formula thrives on. The beauty of indulging in narcotics and laying on the hood of your car with your significant other under a magnificent sky is here and you are more than welcome to lose yourself.
Portugal. the Man’s lyrical themes and attitudes haven’t changed all too much from previous releases since the desire to mess with a good thing isn’t always prevalent. The shame here is that even within this album, those elements wear themselves out and become noticeably repetitive. As one treks through the album, the feel of it grows weary and progressively recurrent. Although there are sharp and memorable moments bringing us back for more, the variety is too sparing to deem In the Mountain In the Cloud an exceptional album. It all just comes off as a great one-trick magician with not much else left to pull out of his sleeves.
In the Mountain In the Cloud is a vast work of energetic and thoughtfully orchestrated joy. One of the most under-rated aspects of this album are its usage of strings, a perfect and tasteful addition that accents plenty of hooks and give it a successfully bigger feel. These guys give their sounds the sky to dwell in, but their thoughts have their feet on the ground, desperate to breathe in more atmospheres.
This album was close to my dad, something like a cool uncle.
(Album courtesy of Atlantic Records)