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American Ghetto

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Editors’ Notes

Portugal. The Man keeps churning out interesting, smart records where musical genres blithely cross paths and sometimes blissfully merge. Past outings by the Northwest outfit have howled with bluesy, psych-rock tones and purred with soulful ease; they’ve conjured classic rock and pop and experimented with electronic toys. Though American Ghetto’s title implies a turn toward edginess, what we get is actually a smooth amalgam of pretty much everything from the band’s sonic stockpile. You’ll hear no complaints from us. “The Dead Dog” opens with a languid mélange of guitars and keyboards, and just as it gets its groove on, the brief “Break” serves chopped-up bits of voice and synths, hiccupping a segue into another blissful groove (“60 Years”). With a fluid, downtempo pulse and lyrical melodies as affecting as any exotic instrument (is that a sitar gurgling on “When the War Ends?”), this sunny excursion (think Beck meets Beatles meets Flaming Lips) makes great summer listening. Perhaps a better title would have been American Dream.

Customer Reviews

this came out in 2010.... not 2012

This album is amazing, I love Portugal. The Man, but this album did NOT come out in 2012, it came out in 2010, get your release dates right iTunes!!!!!!!

So addicting

I've never encountered a band that's quite as addicting as Portugal. I really warmed up slowly to them, but the more I listen, the more I need to listen. As with all Portugal albums, the songs don't quite taste right to my ears at first. It's like a food that you absolutley have to taste twice to appreciate the flavor. Your ears need to take multiple sips. In almost every song, though, they start up slow and really get rolling by the chorus. Patience pays of in spades with this band. It's usually a slow burn to a rewarding crecendo. My favorite song on this album is When the War Ends.

The things that I love the most about this band are the chanting, repetitive choruses, perfect use of high vocals and generalizable lyrics that pull the listener in. It's like a ritual listening to them. They've also grown so much. Every song on every album is a keeper, but their early albums were mostly 3 star songs with the occasional 4 star song. Their most recent album is mostly 4 star songs with the occasional 5 star song.

Loving this album!!!

Im new to Portugal. The Man but this album is great. My favorite song on here is The Pushers Party but thats not the only goodness to be had. Just trust me guys. I have over 700 albums in my Itunes and this is a good one. Im not going to compare this to anything else because it drives me crazy when people do that. Just wish more people knew about Portugal. The Man.


Formed: 2003 in Wasilla, AK

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

There has to be some credit given for this band's name alone -- co-founder John Gourley once explained it as an attempt to create a demi-mythic entity bigger than the individual members. Formed in Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man (yes, there's a period in the middle of their name) grew out of the ashes of Anatomy of a Ghost, a post-hardcore band whose vocalist and guitarist -- Gourley and Zach Carothers, respectively -- opted to continue working together. Rounding out the new band's lineup was...
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American Ghetto, Portugal. The Man
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