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In the Mountain in the Cloud

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In The Mountain In The Cloud marks Portugal. The Man's sixth full-length in as many years, as well as the band's debut for Atlantic Records. Carrying forth the momentum triggered by their unexpected rise in 2006, and their FM airwave success of "People Say" (from 2009's The Satanic Satanist), In The Mountain In The Cloud continues the pattern of an album per calendar year, a feat made all the more staggering when you consider the band's fervent devotion to the open road, logging over 800 shows-performing everywhere from freight elevators to a mesmerizing set at Bonnaroo-since their inception. In The Mountain In The Cloud marks the first recording by the band to accurately harness their onstage energy; it's a recording that places Portugal. The Man's devout work ethic and singular vision on full display.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B00518HAQI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,942 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By C-M on July 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan for a while now, and loved their past efforts. I was worried their foray into a major label would dampen their sound or creativity, well I was wrong. This album is for the lovers of psychedelia and soaring vocals, if a man exercising his falsetto scares you, look elsewhere. It sounds grandiose but it is not pretentious in any way. The opening track "So American" is an instant hook that draws you in, complete with steel drum and all. The second song that really caught my attention (and my favorite track) is the fifth track "Head Is a Flame (Cool with It)" The vocals, guitars, bass, and atmosphere all have such an eerie nostalgic feel and pacing, the best chorus and solo in all the album leaves me humming and singing all day. I want to keep this review brief so I urge all who liked their previous work to support and buy this record.
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I had never heard of this band until a fellow co-worker suggested that I might like them. I checked out some stuff on YouTube, liked what I heard, and then picked up this album. These guys are certainly unique. Although their material is somewhat retro in nature with a psychedelic bent not all that different from bands like The Flaming Lips or even some of their forefathers from the 60's, the band manage to be original and extremely creative. Apparently this is the band's first album on a major label. Not having any of their previous stuff I can't say how it compares, but I don't detect any "selling out" on any of this stuff. The opening track "So American" is instantly catchy. I also like "Head Is A Flame", "Everything You See", and "Sleep Forever". Really, every track on here is pretty strong. The vocalist's voice is different and took me a few listens to get used to, but once it sinks in his voice is the perfect complement to the music. The bottom line is that I will definitely be seeking out more of this band's material.
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Many people say the quality of all music has declined over decades, and if they came upon this realization only by listening to mainstream radio, they'd be absolutely right.

Had they peered into the mysterious, innovative world of underground music -- specifically underground psychadelic and experimental rock -- they'd know this is certainly not true. Thank the Musical Gods for acts like Minus the Bear, Pepper, Passion Pit, Rx Bandits, The Dear Hunter and, of course, Portugal. The Man.

An odd name, indeed, but who cares when such beautiful rock music is what they produce? All of their albums are glorious (though "It's Complicated Being a Wizard" is an acquired taste; they were doing something different there), but this one takes the cake. Make no mistake, THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ALBUMS OF ANY GENRE OF THE PAST THREE DECADES!!! The whimsical riffs, the hauntingly beautiful existenalism within their perfect lyrics, and the unexplainable nostalgic sound emanating from each track...This album defined my sophomore year in college, and I challenge any rock enthusiast to give it a listen.

Note -- If you're more a fan of classic rock, the kind reminiscent of the 1970s, I'd start with the tracks "All Your Light", "Senseless" and "Share With Me the Sun." I'm not saying these are exact replicas of that decade's sound, but it's like a modern example. Just give it a try. It'll be better than whatever's on the radio.
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Format: Audio CD
It's either a blatant disregard for quality control or a remarkable ability to maintain consistency when a band releases as many albums as years it's been in existence - if you count Portugal. The Man's various EPs and one all-acoustic counterpart LP, the Portland-based psychedelic quartet has already far exceeded all normal bounds of output. Where other bands might have burnt out, Portugal. The Man have already traced a remarkable creative arc, from jam-band-ish prog to a roots rock securely situated in the psychedelia of T. Rex and similar glam with 2009's high water mark The Satanic Satanist. In the Mountain in the Cloud shares many similarities with that record's favorable aspects - a penchant for fuzzy guitar licks married to reverb-heavy hooks that slide off the vinyl as easily as the best of their bellbottom-wearing influences and, of course, singer John Gourley, whose Marc Bolan-esque falsetto defines the band's timeless sound.

But where The Satanic Satanist sounded like a new tack for the band and American Ghetto a grab-bag from their past, In the Mountain in the Cloud seems like more of the same, albeit with a major label budget that allows for an expanded sound. Not to say that things here a retread; songs are as distinct as they come, from the trippy opener of "So American" to the barnstorming riff and cries of the coming revolution on "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)," and the band's palette is well diversified. It's just that a band as obviously talented as Portugal.
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