Portugal. The Man is back at it with their sixth album in six years, In the Mountain In the Cloud. The Portland-based synth-rock band has been churning out albums like clockwork, constantly giving its listeners new sounds and catchy melodies to obsess over year after year.
Coming off the heels of the sunny rock album, The Satanic Satanist (2009), their 2010 album, American Ghetto, proved to be more soulful and electronically experimental than past albums. In the Mountain In the Cloud is a blend of their past musical influences, including classic rock, synth-pop, blues and electro beats. But overall, frontman John Gourley struggles to catch the audience with the aggression and intent embedded in his vocals on past albums.
The album moves through dream-like, fluid tracks like “Floating (Time Isn’t Working On My Side)” and “Senseless” to the classic rock track “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)”. “All Your Light (Times Like These)” has a raspy, vintage rock sound that has all the elements of a hit like “Everlasting Light” by the Black Keys, but simply falls short and leaves you bopping your head in content but not rushing to hit replay.
While I’m sure many Portugal. The Man fans will delight in these 11 new tracks, I expected more surprise and precision from the group’s sixth album. A few samples from the album:
“All Your Light (Times Like These)” by Portugal. The Man
Ashley Smith is a writer and music lover from San Francisco. You can check out what she is grooving to at www.thegrooveisontheloose.com.