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Portugal The Man

PortugalTheMan

Evil Friends

Having steadily released six records over equally as many years, Portugal. The Man have this time taken us by surprise. Not only did they wait two years — they also paired up with New York producer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, The Black Keys). Indeed, the psychedelic rockers sure go down a different path this time, and it’s one to be proud of.

The crafted end result, Evil Friends, is a quality 12-tracker containing a whole heap of honesty revealed through lead singer John Baldwin Gourley’s fine vocals. The album criss-crosses over genres, with elements of synth, acoustic, prog, punk and indie rock, and inevitably becomes a more mainstream and listening-friendly collection than previous outings. There are some rather catchy beat-ridden hooks (Purple, Yellow, Red & Blue; Modern Jesus; Atomic Man), beautiful ballads with handclaps (Sea of Air, Smile) as well as tracks more or less independently written without Dangermouse’s help (Hip Hop Kids).

Danger Mouse may have stated that he didn’t need another rock band collab, but the results are strong. All in all, Evil Friends showcases a more accessible — but a rather pleasant and experimental— piece of work by the Atlanta outfit.

SARA MATTSSON

 

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