Portugal. The Man – Woodstock

7.8 Atlantic
2017 

Portugal. The Man : Woodstock

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For a modern-day psych-rock band, naming your album “Woodstock” is kind of putting yourself out there for criticism, given how hallowed that festival still is considered (especially when compared to today’s much more corporate/professional music festival industry). Portugal. The Man have also always been a bit more psych-lite, a rock band with psychedelic elements, rather than the other way around. Yet Woodstock does really manage to surprise.

Despite coming from a psych-rock outfit, on Woodstock there’s a great deal of funk and even rhymes. “Feel It Still” is some really catchy & hep-stepping funk, while the following “Rich Friends” is a funky ode to the rich life. Meanwhile, the back end has slower wa-wa on pieces such as “So Young”, “Mr. Lonely”, and “Tidal Wave”. “Mr. Lonely” also has a closing rhyme portion thanks to guest Fat Lip, and closer “Noise Pollution” sees The Man’s own rhymes, as well as vocals from actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane) and production duties from none other than Beastie Boys’ Mike D. Danger Mouse does producing on other tracks, including darker psych-rock opener “Number One”, which also features Richie Havens and Son Little.

Woodstock isn’t really about Woodstock, just inspired by singer/guitarist John Gourley’s dad finding a lost ticket stub for the festival. But like the festival, it’s a little all-over-the-place, with moments of brilliance.

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