Portugal. The Man

In the Mountain in the Cloud

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On their sixth album, the increasingly prolific neo-psych outfit Portugal. The Man look to the past for inspiration on In the Mountain in the Cloud. The album represents a breakthrough for the band on a couple of levels, the most obvious of which is their signing to major-label Atlantic, which comes as a big step up after years of quietly working their way through the indie circuit. The other is the less tangible artistic breakthrough. With such a rigorous release schedule, Portugal. The Man has been a band that listeners have been able to watch hone their craft step by step, slowly tinkering and adjusting things and growing into a band that’s not only hit their stride, but is in full swagger as they separate themselves from the pack of post-Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev psychedelic rock bands with a sound that digs deeper into the musical past to the glam sounds of David Bowie and T. Rex. This wispy, dreamier sound provides the songs with a greater sense of drama, allowing the songs like “Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)” and “Everything You See (Kids Count Hallelujahs)” to lazily drift along while still giving the feeling that something important is happening. In the Mountain in the Cloud is also the band's most cohesive album, suffering from none of the unevenness that crept into some of their earlier work. With a more unified sound, the album flows nicely from track to track without ever letting the listener out of its warm embrace, making for a record that showcases a more unified vision of the band that Portugal. The Man has been steadily evolving into over the past six years.

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