Portugal. The Man
The Majestic Majesty


3.5
great

Review

by robin EMERITUS
July 28th, 2009 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Portugal. The Man make acoustics as fresh as possible.

My first experiences with Portugal. The Man this very year suggested this to me: they strive on vibe. Any minute out of forty on The Satanic Satanist was cramped with patterns of pulse both little and large, from glittery riffs (“Lovers In Love”) to the loudest of drumbeats at the forefront for a world of noise (“The Woods”), but no matter how squashed the disc sat, the band never, ever took the pitfall risks it could’ve. They just knew where to return - and, even better, with what tone of voice – and so their songs culminated into an album of mood and music – or, as the optimist’s “Everything Is Golden” proves once and for all to me, mood accompanied by music. So in that respect, The Majestic Majesty isn’t as complementary as can-be: it’s an absolute transformation. Wave goodbye to the amp and strip away the piano, drum kit and synth galore, and the several men behind the one man clearly feel out of their dimension – but even without several tonnes of melodic tricks at their disposal, the songs feel as imposing and intense as ever, even on their new paths.

While they certainly weren’t hiding behind chasms of instrumentation during The Satanic Satanist, its acoustic twin seems to work best by thinking under that umbrella: “Lovers In Love” - possibly the most accomplished change album to album - in no way wants to work as a look-alike; the strums are the least typical, least offensive and even least noticeable on the record and ultimately leave Gourley’s high-reaching voice pulling the track together in a way the original never did: exchanging the glistening for the slow ‘n’ menacing. In “Work All Day” they make the natural replacement to an electric guitar a banjo, create the barest drumbeats about and make an even smoother sing-along than they originally did.

Where I was truly stunned by how easy The Satanic Satanist made composition sound - and this will surely be the band’s proudest progression made from their awesomely chaotic debut, Waiter: “You Vultures!” – the barebones The Majestic Majesty sets out not to ‘make it sound easy’ but to sound simply simple. “Everyone Is Golden” comes off as if gathered with people just playing and humming and singing whatever they want, and no matter how little goes into the song (some voices, a guitar and some shaken percussion), it couldn’t sound louder and prouder. And whether or not the songs sound bettered in their new environment (“The Home”) or neglected (“The Sun”), it only matters that Portugal. The Man sound far more confident than they should. And that’s all the nurturing their acoustics really need.



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user ratings (144)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
OliverCampbell
July 28th 2009


66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like this more than the album. But not by much.

gaslightanthem
July 28th 2009


5209 Comments


good review bb, i'm not sure what i think of this band anymore

robin
Emeritus
July 28th 2009


4261 Comments


happy thoughts?

gaslightanthem
July 28th 2009


5209 Comments


i used to like them a lot now i just don't know don't pressure me omg

robin
Emeritus
July 28th 2009


4261 Comments


when precisely did you stop liking them

gaslightanthem
July 28th 2009


5209 Comments


few months back so sometime early this year

elephantREVOLUTION
July 28th 2009


2791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nice review. majestic majesty owns satanic satanist.

Avirov
July 28th 2009


1206 Comments


Very good review, although it makes the album sound like a 4.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009


17945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wish this was released on cd with satanic satanist

xNintendoCorex
July 28th 2009


1272 Comments


im gonna be honest, i completely missed the boat on this.
didnt even know it existed ><

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009


20858 Comments


What? This isn't Badly Drawn Boy. Hehe.

Interesting idea here with the acoustic album being released separately to the main LP. Do you think it could catch on Robin?

robin
Emeritus
July 29th 2009


4261 Comments


well it's certainly better when they do it as a bonus in the same year, is opposed to sufjan stevens new hobby (re-recording a gentler version of an album he released several years ago)

Taxt
July 29th 2009


683 Comments


I like this a lot more than The Satanic Satanist.

robin
Emeritus
July 29th 2009


4261 Comments


seems to be a popular opinion.. like 'em both myself

Teddy Picker
October 9th 2009


280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I Love this album (electric and acoustic); enough said

psykonaut
May 29th 2011


3913 Comments


this album while doing yard work = fuck yeah



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