REVIEW: Portugal. The Man – “In The Mountain, In The Cloud”

Portugal. The Man / In The Mountain, In The Cloud / Warner

For Alaskan psychedelic rock group Portugal. The Man, channeling an expressive combustion of straight-up trippy recordings isn’t a primary objective. Given they’ve released more material in the past four years (six albums) than multi-layer lovers The Flaming Lips and MGMT (two each), guitarist John Gourley, bassist Zachary Carothers, keyboardist Ryan Neighbors and drummer Jason Sechrist have become underground pysch opportunists. In The Mountain, In The Cloud, an elaborate mosaic enclosed in the concept of people helping each other, models Portugal. The Man’s best work in a start to finish format. With Gourley’s graceful howl, each song floats in and out of jam rock perfection, forcing out choruses that are too hard not to pay attention to or replay.

“Senseless” surges into a atmospheric fuzz that staggers with every strike of the keys while “Got It All” opens its curtains with violins and a wave of orchestra pop before dropping into the group’s trademark and lines of love and revolution. Even when their world seems bigger and much more complicated to our naked eye, Gourley shows he’s still human, knowing there are times to persevere (“Floating”) and live a little (“Share With Me The Sun”). The blinding audible jump of In The Mountain, In The Cloud finds itself punching the glam button a bit more than say The Satanic Satanist and even storms symphonic grounds – “So American” rolls with a Sgt. Pepper.. vibe. But when the four-piece click with Gourley’s falsetto and addictive verve (“Everything You See”), they click. And it’s rather difficult to not applaud such sincere art.

Download: “Everything You See”, “Got It All”

 

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