Pre-Screening: Portugal. The Man


21. Jul. 2009, 14:35

The following appears on my blog, Animal Noises- feel free to check it out.

Album: The Satanic Satanist
Artist: Portugal. The Man
Label: Equal Vision/Approaching AIRballoons
Due Out: July 21st

Sitting down with yet another Portugal. The Man record, I can't help but feel like Censored Colors just came out. Well, technically, it did. The Alaska band's fantastic 2008 record came out in September, and now, about 10 months later, here we are again. If you remember at all, I gave their last effort rave reviews, and was one of the few people on the internet to give the album its rightful place atop their end-of-year list. Too bad lightning doesn't strike twice. While Portugal. The Man has done a great job over the past five years of putting out a large amount of quality material in a short amount of time, you can't help but feel like this one was rushed a bit. And by a bit, I mean quite a lot. Maybe it's just the inevitable letdown after a superb effort, but I can't help feeling like something's lacking when listening to The Satanic Satanist.

We start with People Say, the song everybody's heard already, with very mixed opinions amongst fans. What I, and others, have taken issue with is the lack of a real edge, save for maybe the last 30 seconds, which is a stark contrast from the band's usual style. Next, Work All Day seems to be a foray into hip-hop and industrial pop. Neither of these songs are terrible, it's just that I still have to take issue with the lack of edge. There's also an over-embracing of country and classic rock. That, by itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's their attempt at practicing with it which makes the songs off-putting for diehards. Lovers In Love works similarly-- existing in choice bright spots, but overall, seemingly overreaching for new sounds and experimental moments. Make that double for The Sun. I'm not opposed to the bright music epidemic this year. On the contrary, I enjoy most of it. But not for Portugal. The Man. They have (had) a vibe that involved careening minor chords, etc., so this is slight culture shock. Alas, we continue...(to read the rest of the review, check out the blog)


  • delgadokd

    About the only review I've seen so far that has put Censored Colors over Satanic Satanist. Do you regret this yet?

    28. Jul. 2009, 2:41
  • JohnCa55illo

    Not in the least. To be honest, I actually feel stronger about these opinions now than I did when I wrote them. I've also read those same reviews you're speaking of, and couldn't help but wonder what these people could possibly be seeing, because this album is completely dwarfed by the rest of the band's catalog.

    28. Jul. 2009, 3:32
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