Portugal. The Man – The Satanic Satanist

21 07 2009

Portugal. The Man is a band I’ve only heard good things about. I’ve always thought about listening to them, but never got around to it. Now, I’m around to it. I just got their new album The Satanic Satanist, and I’m ready to review the hell out of it. You can listen to the whole album for free at PTM’s MySpace.

Portugal. The Man - The Satanic Satanist 1

By the way, if you want some free downloads, go to the downloads section of PTM’s website. There’s a form to sign up for the mailing list, but you do not have to do this; you can just download the songs. Thanks, Portugal. The Man!

Track 1: People Say
A great opening track, and an extremely catchy one at that. I love opening guitar riff, and the vocals are done really well. I’ve gotta say, it’s a good first track to ever hear by a group, that’s for sure. The length of this track helps it out, because if the sound had gone on any longer, it would’ve started to lose it’s kick.

Track 2: Work All Day
The feel of this track is pretty different from the previous track, but it still works. The main hang-up is vocally, to me. I think that it’s a solid sound, but the chorus just gets a little too repetitive to me. I got bored of this song fairly quickly, which is troubling since it’s not even 3 minutes long. 3

Track 3: Lovers in Love
It’s surprising to me that the vocals are so good during the chorus of this song, but so terrible during the verses. The best part about this song is that it gets better as it goes on. It just starts kind of suddenly, and it catches you off guard, but as you catch up with the song, you start to appreciate it more. 3

Track 4: The Sun
Once again, they throw something totally different from the last song. The solo vocals over the piano at the beginning are such a departure from the last track’s up-tempo, techno-ish feel. This is another super poppy tune, mad catchy. The synthy breakdown at 2 minutes is dope. Great track, and it feels longer than 3 minutes. 4

Track 5: The Home
This sound is so crazy. I mean, there’s an organ, some crazy guitar parts, and the vocals are pretty well-layered. I’m willing to bet $20 that I could convince someone that this song is from the 1970s. I could totally see that. Early 70’s. Maybe even the late 60’s.

Track 6: The Woods
This track feels so percussion and bass heavy to me, and I think that having the vocals be so high provides a really nice contrast. The “why-ai-ai-ai-ai” part is sick. I think that’s one part I’m always going to sing along with when I hear it. It’s like, no matter what they do, they’re catchy.

Track 7: Guns and Dogs
I can’t really decide whether I like the vocals or not. My initial reaction was that I didn’t like them, but I think they kind of work well with the song. And the “ooo” parts are also super cool. The chorus for this song is pretty tight, too. The instrumentation in the bridge is sick, but the vocals just don’t work there, to me.

Track 8: Do You
The verses and the chorus sound like two different songs. And the bass fill between the first chorus and the second verse, I think, is really good. I really love how this track transitions into the next track. This particular track made me think of Weezer and The Arcade Fire.

Track 9: Everyone is Golden
To me, this song is just boring, honestly. It starts out sounding interesting, but by a minute and thirty seconds into the track, I was ready to move on. One thing I will give this song is that the ending is phenomenal. Sounds haunting. 3

Track 10: Let You Down
Living up to its name, this is the weakest song on the album in my opinion. The echo-type effect on the vocals definitely adds to the song, but it’s not enough to salvage it’s crudeness. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just mean that it’s so bare with just that same progression and the vocals the entire time. The upside is, it’s only 2:16 long.

Track 11: Mornings
The intro to this track is really enjoyable. The vocals aren’t the greatest, but they’re definitely heartfelt. Giving the guitar two extended parts was a good call. It’s a pretty decent selection as the last track, but it’s not necessarily a great ending to the album.

Portugal. The Man - The Satanic Satanist 2

Congratulations to Portugal. The Man! They’ve managed to recruit me as a listener. They almost lost me with that shitty back half, though. I’m definitely looking forward to getting at least one more of their albums. “People Say” is definitely my favorite song off this album, and I can see why it’s the most popular track. (The album cover is killer, by the way.)
Overall: 3/5

Portugal. The Man - The Satanic Satanist

Listen to:
1) People Say

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