Portugal. The Man is an indie rock band from Alaska who just released its eighth album this summer. Their most recent album, “Woodstock,” came out on Jun. 16, 2017. Record producer and songwriter, Danger Mouse produced “Woodstock,” and the album has influences from the Black Keys. The album consists of ten songs. Most notably, their top single is “Feel It Still,” which according to Billboard.com, is the number-one alternative song of the week since the week of July 8, 2017. “Feel It Still,” while being an exceptional song, sounds more like a pop song. The song portrays the ideas of the sixties until now it especially hones on the ideals of the Woodstock arts fair in 1969. Another song that deserves an honorable mention is “Noise Pollution.” This song is my personal favorite, as it reflects a more psychedelic tone that is found in the earlier Portugal. The Man albums.
“Noise Pollution” features Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Manville (who was a member of the band since 2008). The song covers the idea of propaganda; the “Noise Pollution” is all the fake ideas and false facts floating through our news and social media. This is illustrated in the lyrics, “Broke out the institution/Got lost in the confusion/Not mad, man I’m a big fan/I love that noise pollution/It’s in my constitution/Forever disillusioned.” The song is taking a jab at people that overuse their First Amendment rights to say anything they want. Another great song to mention is “Rich Friend.” The song makes some great political points with lyrics such as “Crashing on chardonnay and Adderall/Driving it on into the wonderwall/every day holidays when daddy’s gone/living life like we’re the only ones who know I’m famous.” The song seems to be making a jab at trust-fund-kids that waste away their money, and it shows the absurdity in the fact that people can buy friends and affection. But, although the song does make good points, the overall tone is very pop-like, making the message not as serious.
Overall, “Woodstock” is a great album. It conveys a lot of strong messages and has made Portugal. The Man successful, but it is more of a pop album than an indie rock album. It plays with the sounds and ideas invoked by its title, but does little to add something new to them. Members of the band currently include frontman, John Gourley, Zachary Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Eric Howk and Jason Sechrist. Since Nov. 2014, the band was regularly updating their social media accounts, including Instagram and Twitter, with updates on “Woodstock,” which they produced with Mike D from The Beastie Boys. The promotional updates, which included sound bytes of the songs and photos in the recording studio, greatly contributed to the hype surrounding the release of the album.