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Portugal. The Man
The Satanic Satanist
Equal Vision Records
www.portugaltheman.com


It has been a while since I have heard an album that makes me want to listen to it over and over again. It even got to a point were I decided to not bother with new artist or albums for the late half of 2009. However, after much resistance, I was finally convinced by a good friend to checkout Portugal. The Man when they were in town earlier this year. And to my surprise, they blew me away with their bigger than life presence, but at the same time kept an intimate ambience (everything was dark except for the artwork in the background and spotlights when needed). And not to my surprise, their 2009 release, The Satanic Satanist from their imprint Approaching AIRballoons via indie label Equal Vision Records was exactly the same.

Known as a good old American rock band based in Portland, Oregon (originally from Wasilla, Alaska), Portugal. The Man have released six albums in the last four years (actually 2 of their albums came after The Satanic Satanist). Their musical style (especially on this album) pulls from folk, progressive, soul, and blues, but is still dancey enough to get people like me on board (I have a tendency to run for the hills when I hear anything close to folk). Each song feels like it pays homage to their 70's influences and is artistically brought together with traditional guitars, bass, keyboards and acoustic drums. Even their album artwork reminds me of the psychedelic posters from the same era, displayed in a beautiful origami-style jacket. I just wish I remembered how it was originally put together as I can't get it back together again.

Songs to check out:
"People Say" - I have to say that this is my favorite song on the album. It makes start to do the chair dance right from the start and makes me excited to hear the rest of the album.
"Work All Day" - Almost as an extension from the previous song, "People Say", this song has repetitive rhyme and lyrics which I love singing to (I like it when songs do that).
"The Home" - Do you ever listen to the sounds that your hands make… Just gets in my bones and gives me shivers. Brilliant!

And not so much:
Nothing - For reals. I actually really like every song and can't stop listening. Hooray! Thank you, Portugal. The Man for bringing my faith back in new music.

-Melissa Skrbic-Huss

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Mike Doughty



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