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American Ghetto

Portugal. The Man

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Album Review

Prolific and ever evolving, American Ghetto finds Portugal. The Man pushing into increasingly electronic territory. On this album, the band reunited with The Satanic Satanist producer (and former Cornershop sideman) Anthony Saffery, whose synth work and drum programming helped shape the album into a more producer-centric recording than the band's previous work. More so than on their last outing, it feels like Portugal are using the studio as an instrument, experimenting with different techniques to make the songs exist in a more textural and open sonic space. The result is a sound that combines The Satanic Satanist's mellowness with the experimental excursions of their It’s Complicated Being a Wizard EP. This especially comes through in the drums, where the beats feel more processed and chopped up, creating an interesting aural floor for the tracks to unfold over. This more produced sound results in songs that fall somewhere between playful pop jams and soundscapes, with tracks like “60 Years” and “The Dead Dog" showing the band's ability to use the more straight-ahead drum and guitar work to keep the songs from drifting into the swirling sea of synthesizers and layered vocal harmonies. For constant musical tinkerers like Portugal. The Man, it’s unknown whether this is a stop on some more free-form journey or a destination itself, but what’s clear is that this dreamier sound is one that works for them.

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.

Biography

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...
Full Bio

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