"In the Mountain In the Cloud" by Portugal. The Man on iTunes

11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ambitious indie-rockers Portugal. The Man created a colorful and eclectic back-catalog of music before signing to major label Atlantic Records for album number seven, In the Mountain In the Cloud. Working with big-time producers and engineers who had worked with mega-stars like Christina Aguilera in the past, the band admits to difficulties in the recording process this time around, but In the Mountain… is a shining example of beauty though struggle (band leader John Gourley feels it’s their strongest work yet). From the mellifluous, ‘70s-radio-friendly “So American” to the spiritual psychedelia of “You Carried Us” and the rubber soul of “All Your Light,” Portugal. The Man shows they clearly haven’t strayed from their core passion for big, classic-rock sounds steeped in their own view of a boldly original melding pot future. There are heavenly flights of strings and choruses; smooth, honeyed soul; lighters-in-the air grandiosity blooming out of ethereal grace; and, always, Gourley’s amazing, classic-rock vocals that are liquid gold.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ambitious indie-rockers Portugal. The Man created a colorful and eclectic back-catalog of music before signing to major label Atlantic Records for album number seven, In the Mountain In the Cloud. Working with big-time producers and engineers who had worked with mega-stars like Christina Aguilera in the past, the band admits to difficulties in the recording process this time around, but In the Mountain… is a shining example of beauty though struggle (band leader John Gourley feels it’s their strongest work yet). From the mellifluous, ‘70s-radio-friendly “So American” to the spiritual psychedelia of “You Carried Us” and the rubber soul of “All Your Light,” Portugal. The Man shows they clearly haven’t strayed from their core passion for big, classic-rock sounds steeped in their own view of a boldly original melding pot future. There are heavenly flights of strings and choruses; smooth, honeyed soul; lighters-in-the air grandiosity blooming out of ethereal grace; and, always, Gourley’s amazing, classic-rock vocals that are liquid gold.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

409 Ratings

Amazing new album

jahmclernan,

Portugal the man is like if the beatles and pink floyd had a love child. these guys from A.K, are amazing. simply amazing. check out the "sleep forever" video on y o u t u b e on the bands page!

Impressive debut with Atlantic

Cal Wayne,

After giving this album more than a hand full of listens over the last few days, I have come to the easy conclusion that 'In The Mountain In The Cloud' is one of my favorite albums to have been released in the last 10 years or so. Taking influences from artists such as David Bowie, The Beatles, T-REX, Radiohead, and The Pixies; Portugal. The Man has thrown together a masterfully crafted album that could only be described as a colorful combination of Art, Space, and Psychedelic rock. From the steel drums in 'So American' to the heavy synthesizers in 'All Your Light' Portugal. The Man produces the an extremely diverse and funky sounding record, with more experimentation than all of their previous albums while still maintaining solid song structures and concepts. The song subjects follow Portugal The Man's classic formula that includes God, Death, and everyday life; John Gourley's vocals are key in painting the pictures that his often abstract lyrics almost flawlessly convey. If there's anything I can gripe about, it's that a few of the songs kind of lose themselves in their chorus 'Head is a flame' and 'Kids Count Hallelujahs' could be an example of this, as I find them repeating the same lyrics and sounds over and over without getting across any kind of message or substance. That being said, Portugal always does a good job of making every song relevent, and giving every song a place. There are no fillers, and I have only listened to this album from start to finish without ever having to press 'skip' and I think that speaks more about this album than anything else I could say. I think any fan of music should at least give this album a listen, I know that it's going to be hanging around my car's CD player for a long, long time.

About Portugal. The Man

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, experimental indie pop group Portugal. The Man 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 keyboardist/singer Wes Hubbard, himself a veteran of other Alaskan groups, and the trio eventually relocated from Alaska to Portland, Oregon. Their initial existence in the Pacific Northwest was the typical hardscrabble life of a band with few resources, but drummer Jason Sechrist (formerly of Konmai Defense System) joined to form a more stable lineup. The band's profile received a boost from the Internet (the musicians made heavy use of MySpace and PureVolume for promotional purposes), and Portugal. The Man released an EP in 2005 before issuing their debut album, Waiter: You Vultures!, in early 2006.

In 2007, the group (whose lineup had once again reverted to three members, as Hubbard had left and was replaced by touring keyboardist Ryan Neighbors) issued Church Mouth, whose aggressive sound bore traces of Led Zeppelin and Jane's Addiction. The bandmates then opted to finance their third record themselves, drawing upon a wealth of guest musicians -- including trombonists, trumpeters, and violinists -- to create the eclectic Censored Colors. In 2009 the group released The Satanic Satanist, which became their first record to chart on the Billboard 200. They quickly followed it with the mellower and more electronic American Ghetto, and the band signed with Atlantic Records later in 2010.

Guitarist Noah Gersh joined the lineup for Portugal. The Man's 2011 summer tour, and the group recorded its major-label debut album, In the Mountain in the Cloud, in late 2011. Produced by John Hill and mixed by Andy Wallace, it was released in July of 2012. Around that time, Sleep Forever, a 13-minute short directed by Michael Ragen and shot entirely in Gourley's hometown, premiered on the Independent Film Channel. It would be the last recording for members Sechrist and Neighbors, who were replaced by drummer Kane Ritchotte and keyboardist Kyle O'Quin. Portugal. The Man enlisted Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) as producer for 2013's Evil Friends, which was released in June of 2013. They returned to the studio in 2014 with the Beastie Boys' Mike D for their eighth studio album. The recordings were eventually scrapped, however, and the band emerged in 2017 with fresh material via the self-produced Woodstock. Led by the single "Feel It Still," it was named in honor of the 1969 festival and their attempt to "say something that mattered" in a context of sociopolitical unrest. ~ Ned Raggett

  • ORIGIN
    Wasilla, AK
  • FORMED
    2003

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