Portugal. The Man/Censored Colors


Portugal. The Man are an American Rock Band from Wasilla, Alaska. Formed in 2004, the band has Indie roots but vary release to release in sound and instrumentation. Censored Colors was released in 2008, and the band released a new CD on July 21, 2009….which I will get to later.

Part I: The Colors

Lay Me Back Down—-Beginning with a sound that reminds me of the glorious 70’s rock scene, the vocal enters with an even more vintage sound. The music is huge and presented on a large level. The keyboard interludes make me think of the best Queen songs. The track is a journey in itself as it travels between subtle soft beauty and large crashing sounds…this is fantastic.

Colors—-Again, presenting a fantastic retro sound, the guitars are like vintage Dave Gilmour. The vocal track is a dreamy affair, with a soft and digestible presentation. The band adds strings to the song and it helps to bring the vocal to even more life. A little too ‘jam-oriented’ for me, but pleasant none the less.

And I—-With an odd, quiet intro….the vocal comes in and is a beautiful affair. Reminding me at times of Lennon, the lyrics are vivid and heart-aching. This is a really pretty, introspective track that still maintains that wonderful 70’s overtone. As the song comes more to life, it becomes even larger with the addition of many more instruments. The vocal is at times heavily layered but manages to maintain it’s mood and mystery.

Salt—-A simple introduction that ushers in the unique vocal styling of this band. The song moves from tempo to tempo, but manages to still remain cemented in the original tone. This is nice, but not a favorite.

Created—-Another very gentle introduction and haunting beautiful vocal. The song is so bare you can pick up every little sound in the back mix. The chorus is a thing of beauty and is not to be missed. This is nice and without definition…I love that!!

Out And In And In And Out—-Acoustic in sound, yet sounding electric!! The vocal is a crystal clear journey of imagery and word play. It is rare these days to be able to pick up every line of the lyrics, but this song offers that. The whole affair is a thing of beauty.

Intermission:

A dreamy affair full of heavily layered instrumentation that gives the song a masterful ambient sound. Nicely Done!

Part II: The Twenty Five

New Orleans: Sounding exactly as you would expect, the song infuses some Louisiana blues with the dreamy quality of the band’s delivery. The vocal is so clear and emotive, you can easily allow yourself to drift off in a pleasant daydream.

Never Pleased—-Seemingly a bit more experimental in sound, the music is huge with great production. The vocal is quite aggressive and loud with a bitter edge. The song travels on for a long time…this tends to get on my nerves….yes, I’m one of the few people in the world who did not like The Grateful Dead!!

Sit Back And Dream—-The song, segued with the previous track seems to barely miss a step and continues in a more aggressive vocal style that is almost hollering. The emotion is raw and real and that carries the song forward, as the music gets louder and louder and segues into….

Hard Times And Our Times—-The song has a slight blues/soul tone to it and the vocal is less abrasive. The song falls into a comfortable jam mode, and the pace is comfortable. The added horns tend to get on my nerves somewhat but it is an alright track. The chorus manages a hook that will hibernate in your brain cells for some time.

All Mine—-Reminding me once again of The Wall era Pink Floyd, the song is a floaty affair that sucks you into the dreamy, acoustic mood. The vocal borders on beautiful….the sounds are so nicely layered it is like a CD in itself.

1989—-A mystical magical affair that comes to a complete stop at times and then picks back up with a single chord. The vocal is freakin” wonderful and not to be missed. This is a great mix of modern rock and vintage sounds that are just not found anymore. Really Great!!!

Our Way—-Magically mixed with the outro of the previous song, this is a seamless journey of exquisite measure. The sound in masterful…there are many things going on at the same time…the vocal remains clear and understandable. A nice end to an interesting release.

*** out of 5

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