Ryan Lizotte

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Last Active 02-24-14 6:41 pm
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01.24.15 Portugal. The Man: Ranked11.24.14 Soundtrack To The Struggle
08.29.14 HELMET's Betty - Ranked. 20 Years Later08.06.13 My Top Artists Of The Moment

Portugal. The Man: Ranked

One of my favorite bands of this generation - ranked.
1Portugal. The Man
Evil Friends

The Danger Mouse-assisted outing is the band's strongest album in years. Featuring "Modern Jesus" and the infections, "Purple Yellow Red and Blue," EF finds Portugal in clear, top form. Songs like "Atomic Man" and "Plastic Soldiers" help lay a concept for this extremely spaced out record, indebted to 'Dark Side'-era Floyd and Sgt. Pepper- era-Beatles. Evil Friends is a truly sinister depiction of the world around us, and half the time, it's too damn catchy for you to even notice. Recurring musical themes and lyrics help make Evil Friends an experience, not just an album. Songs like "Waves" and "Sea of Air" go for a more cerebral, atmospheric sound, and add to the existential nature of the record. Evil Friends finds solace in the darkness.
2Portugal. The Man
The Satanic Satanist

The closest that Portugal will come to having the perfect album. John Gourley mentioned going out of his way to write pop songs for SS, and it clearly shows. Opening one-two punch, "People Say" and "Work all Day" start the album off to a slow start, but lead way to more diverse tracks. "Do You" and "The Sun" show off glossier production, and an emphasis on classic-rock melodies. Perhaps SS was P.TM's finest album, start to finish. It's easy to love The Satanic Satanist. 35 minutes of completely catchy rock music.
3Portugal. The Man
In the Mountain In the Cloud

This was the "ambitious" one. ITMITC gets a load of flack for being the "obvious" shot at psychedelic rock, even to the point of obscenely long song titles, and overly layered music. As it stands, ITMITC is the gateway to the drug that is Portugal. The Man. Everything you love about the band's past - the drugged out "Senseless" and "Floating," and the progressive nature of "All Your Light" and "Sleep Forever - is present in droves. The only problem is in its presentation. ITMITC is the first album where JBG assured us that his falsetto would be his primary tool in future recordings. The album is solid, and as it seems, people either hate it, or treat it as a religious experience.
4Portugal. The Man
Censored Colors

Where they found their sound. Some of the band's finest moments are here; "Hard Times" and "1989" are bonafide classics, yet never appear in concert. Gourley embraced his experimental nature on CC, opting for a more arranged album, as opposed to the raw rock of Church Mouth. CC remains a fan favorite, and stands as the album where Portugal shed their "faux-Mars Volta" skin, and became a completely different monster.
5Portugal. The Man
American Ghetto

Many will argue this is the lowest quality Portugal album, and they are not wrong; it is merely a sum of every previous album (Waiter-SS), and opts for beats instead of drums. The whole album's narrative seems to recall Gourley's childhood in Alaska, and features some extremely catchy pop-rock, however there is a looming shadow over the whole album. Songs like "All My People," "60 Years" and "The Dead Dog" are celebratory anthems of life, partying and hometown hangouts, but they also reflect an inner turmoil. A lasting coldness. Of all Portugal releases, this one comes off as more of a David Lynch movie. Nonetheless, the murky beats of "The Pusher's Party" and "1000 Years" are sure to turn more people away than they will magnetize them. And within that is beautiful art.
6 Portugal. The Man
Waiter: "You Vultures"

The first release is always the most interesting. Portugal formed as a side project of Anatomy of a Ghost's John Baldwin Gourley and Zach Carothers. Waiter: "You Vultures" is an impressive amalgamation of electronica, post-hardcore and nu-pop. Who even knew that these guys were signed to Fearless Records? "Tommy" and "Kill Me. The King" reflect a younger (more ambitious?) rock band, anxious to stay ahead of its competition. Other songs like "Waiter" and "Aka M80 the Wolf" show a songwriting prowess that would manifest itself in later recordings. For a debut, Waiter is pretty damn good. Of course there will always be that chunk of fans who SWEAR that this was the best that Portugal. the Man ever was. To that I say, "eh."
7Portugal. The Man
Church Mouth

Ah, the number seven slot in a seven-album discography. If only this was their worst album? the funny thing is that it's fairly focused in its sound, recalling the guitar- heavy rock of Led Zeppelin. This might not even be their worst album, but as a whole, it lacks in many areas. The fact still remains that "Bellies are Full" and "My Mind" are as artful and catchy as Portugal ever have been, and "Shade" is still a Top 10 track for the band. While the effort is clearly there, the album sounds too rehashed in its approach, feeding off buzz-heavy guitars that would make Jack White and Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys) proud. Portugal would learn. Church Mouth is the weakest effort out of seven, and it's not even a bad album. Go figure.
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