Monday, August 17, 2009

Review: Portugal. The Man - The Satanic Satanist (* * * 1/2)

From their unwieldy name (complete with obnoxious punctuation) to their less than conventional songwriting methods (music and lyrics are often written on the spot when recording), Portugal. The Man seem quite intent on doing things their own way. Fortunately, despite - or perhaps because of – the band’s numerous quirks, the psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll they create somehow coalesces into songs and albums that are remarkably solid. Even their previous effort, 2008’s Censored Colors, though less successful, revealed a band full of great ideas and hungry for progress. On their third album in as many years, the redundantly titled The Satanic Satanist, the band sound as if they’ve taken a step back and returned to form somewhat. They’ve also shaken things up a bit by opening their music to collaboration and, more importantly, by bringing some actual songs to the studio so that the focus can rest more on the individual tracks. The resulting set of songs is tighter and more cohesive than anything the band has previously produced, though by that same token it’s also a little less interesting. (Continue Reading...)