Portugal. The Man – In the Mountain, In the Cloud
In the Mountain, In the Cloud is Portugal. The Man’s sixth album in six years (seventh if you count acoustic miniature Majestic Majesty), and though their punctuation remains annoyingly wayward, their retro-style is gaining traction with each venture. Here, their stalwart Americana-based sound is tarted up with glam tinsel and enough old-fashioned rock n roll heart to have Almost Famous-er Cameron Crowe weeping clichés of appreciation.
The immediate reference points are either decades old (Elton John, David Bowie) or styled that way (with hints of Scissor Sisters – in a good sense – in Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)’s falsetto pomp, and Oasis – in a slightly less good sense – on Beatlesy closer Sleep Forever), yet they always sound fresh. The parenthesising continues with Everything You See (Kids Count Hallalujahs)’s summer jam and Head is a Flame (Cool with It)’s sauntering space-walk, accumulating track-by-track into their finest full-length to date.