Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto
- Artist: Portugal. The Man
- Album: American Ghetto
- Label: Approaching Airballoons / Equal Vision
- Year of Release: 2010
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: tosnob on 2010-03-17
After a stunning album, The Satanic Satanist, that landed them on our Best Albums of 2009 list, I really didn't expect to see Portugal. The Man back so soon. But back they are with the release of their new album American Ghetto.
The new album, which was shrouded in secrecy with nobody outside their tight circle hearing it until its release this week, is a departure for the Alaskan band. They have taken a definite turn away from the psychedelic indie rock of the past, instead choosing to walk down a more electronic-infused path. It's the sound of current day Flaming Lips versus the late '80s/early '90s version of that band.
Fuzz bass and drum machines are prominent. But it's the feel and rhythm of the music, not just the instrumentation, that makes the difference. Deep grooves and funky beats hit you on songs like "1,000 Years" and "The Pushers Party".
Portugal. The Man also treat listeners to some of their catchiest songs to date. The infectious "60 Years" and the super slick soulfulness of "When the War Ends" are reminiscent of the best of Midnight Vultures-era Beck.
Overall American Ghetto may not be as strong on a track-by-track basis as its immediate predecessor, it is still a highly enjoyable listen. What's more, the band deserve full credit for branching out and trying something completely different.
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