Portugal. The Man
Censored Colors


4.5
superb

Review

by Neal Zetek USER (6 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2012 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Underrated psychedelic gem from 2008 that deserved a more positive review.

I think Portugal. The Man was pretty confused before producing Censored Colors. Their first album was a disjointed brand of amateur post-hardcore played like The Mars Volta. And then 2007’s Church Mouth: an equally disjointed mess of rock and roll influences. Portugal was desperately searching for cohesion and identity and in 2008, I think they found what they were searching for.

Opener Lay Me Back Down comes in like a desert mirage of psychedelic guitars and John Gourley’s high-pitched wailing. It has an anthemic quality that is carried into the rest of the album. Surprisingly, Portugal finds cohesion in this new unification of psychedelic rock and roll and progressive elements. And there’s enough diversity on this album without losing identity in their musical influence.

There are also some strangely inviting rests/building moments on the album in tracks like Intermission and the pseudo-jazz track New Orleans that comes after. And the intermission track comes at a fitting point on the album, setting the pace for three of the best songs on the album. The chanting, moody, lengthy New Orleans builds up and down repeatedly until settling on a refrain of , “…then we’ll find that sleep we lost.”. This refrain goes up in in smoke until a rattling drum roll clears the air on Never Pleased. Blaring horns set the pace for this infectiously catchy track. Never Pleased also settles on a refrain, “I know that you know that I know that you know I try.” until some very dramatic string instrumentation comes out of nowhere, including the cello. The strings repeat themselves until the frantically punk rock Sit Back And Dream cuts into the mix. For me this was the most fun song on the album. The weird, twangy slide-guitar combined with the catchy, head-nodding rhythm of the bass and drums are very fulfilling.

Hard Times/Our Times follows and it’s the weakest song on the album. It’s annoyingly repetitious unlike the successfully employed repetition in other tracks. But All Mine follows, featuring some gorgeously layered vocals in place of this minor flaw. Actually, I think the only instrument I hear other than voices in All Mine is a tambourine, and towards the end a piano. 1989/Our Way is a fitting closer, driven by some really great sing-along melodies and pacing.

Censored Colors is Portugal. The Man’s best album and an underrated gem that you’ll be sorry to miss.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Damus
April 3rd 2012


477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still no one cares about this album.

wacknizzle
April 3rd 2012


13696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really disagree with your views on Church Mouth and Waiter You Vultures but I still feel like I should give this album another try, there was a few songs I really liked but I still doubt this is a 4.5.

Digging: Phobocosm - Deprived

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2012


4458 Comments


I've seen these guys live... wow. This one isnt one of my favorites, but i do enjoy it. along with a lot of their work, pos'd.

AtavanHalen
April 3rd 2012


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

remember loving this so much when it came out

Ending
April 3rd 2012


1919 Comments


I haven't listened to this in about two years. Maybe I should spin it again.

johnnyblaze
April 3rd 2012


2637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya this deserved a much better review, good job dude. i love this album. i think waiters is a little better (mainly cuz of nostalgia) but this is leagues better than satanist and american ghetto.

captaincrunch11
April 3rd 2012


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lay me back down is so groovy

Damus
April 3rd 2012


477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe I was a little generous with the 4.5 but. It's definitely nothing lower than a 4.

NWOAHM666
April 3rd 2012


849 Comments


Band name is stupid.

johnnyblaze
April 3rd 2012


2637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

says NWOAHM666

CaptainDooRight
April 4th 2012


30334 Comments


Yeah this is pretty enjoyable.

Veldin
January 15th 2014


1641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Objectively their best record: more attention-to-detail and memorable content on this album. I really don't understand how this record isn't better received, especially considering Evil Friends has a higher average...



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