Portugal. The Man
In The Mountain In The Cloud


3.0
good

Review

by Neal Zetek USER (6 Reviews)
July 24th, 2011 | 9 replies | 4,127 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Portugal. The Man's recycled, monotonous yearly release.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Introductory track So American is great. In the airy, chiming first notes, layered electric and acoustic guitars, dense bass, anthemic string section, and catchy melody in the voice of John Gourley. In The Mountain In The Cloud then proceeds to recycle the same So American formula in a slightly varying, seriously underwhelming fashion for the majority of it's remaining forty minutes. The verse-chorus-verse song-structures blend into a blurry, psychedelic mess of monotony, song after song. Verses aren't given enough time to grow and breathe as underwhelming choruses resurface again and again to let down the listener in each song.

It isn't Portugal. The Man's sound that is to fault, the sounds on the album are revitalizing for the band. In The Mountain demonstrates some of the spark that I fell in love with on Censored Colors in the unique instrumentation and cathartic atmosphere created the sum of Portugal's parts. It's just that this solid combination of sounds is compressed into uninspired dullness. I spent my time in each song waiting for each bland chorus to steal the potential of every verse, again and again.

There are a small handful of fleeting, exciting moments on In The Mountain that show a glimmer of hope for the album, but these moments are few and far between. Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now) is a fantastic song that encapsulates everything this album attempts to recreate in the efforts that follow. It features a gorgeously infectious refrain, "This can't be living now. If so then show me how. We'll shake, shake, shake the night away..." delivered in Gourley's high-pitched howl. I can imagine this track alongside the collection on Censored Colors. A collection of songs that soars righteously above this effort in ambition and immersion. In addition, All Your Light (Times Like These) is a worthy breather that sufficiently individualizes itself from the rest of the album along with the airy, head-bobbing Once Was One.

These songs ultimately leave a sour taste in your mouth as a listener. They repeatedly underwhelm expecting you follow along until the album's ambitious ending. Sleep Forever closes leaving the listener wondering why every other track lacked the growing space evident in it's sprawling six minutes. As a lover of Portugal's previous efforts, I will hold onto the ambition seen in this song and Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now) until Portugal. The Man decides to dig deeper into something other than verse-chorus-verse uniformity in 2012.



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user ratings (293)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Rudy K. STAFF (3.5)
Psychedelic rock straining to get out of the box....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Damus
July 24th 2011



400 Comments


I kind of want to give this a 2.5.

pmmets07
July 24th 2011



5858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah man i just listened to this yesterday and not much stood out about it. good concise review.

balcaen
July 24th 2011



3183 Comments


i had such high hopes for this
but it's pretty well everything they've already done in some hazy clusterfuck


EDIT: i read your review too. liked how succinct you were yet you actually explained the sound pretty clearly which many reviews fail to do. nice. pos

psykonaut
July 24th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i'm inclined to like this but i wasn't impressed by any of the songs at all

Damus
July 25th 2011



400 Comments


rate pos!

psykonaut
July 25th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ok ok

DoubtGin
July 25th 2011



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

neg

kevinmiller
August 5th 2011



14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its amazing how easily people's opinions are swayed by reading a review.

Damus
September 22nd 2011



400 Comments


This album has totally grown on me. I was a little way too harsh for this review. Now I'd give the album a 3.5 posssibly a 4.



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