Portugal. The Man Makes Crappy. The Album


Okay. There’s no point beating around the bush here. I really don’t like Portugal. The Man. I hate the pretentious period in their name, which would be a stupid name without the superfluous punctuation. I hate their stupid, redundant album title, The Satanic Satanist. And I hate the fact that words like “lovers” and “golden” appear roughly 90,000 times in the space of 11 songs. I don’t really have anything nice to say about The Satanic Satanist and I know you’re inclined to suggest that I say nothing at all because of that. But that cliche imperative could use a 21st century update and that is this: if you don’t have anything nice to say, post it on the internet.

I don’t honestly even remember how I got this album. I read that Stupid. The Band Name was from Portland (which is only partly true – they’re originally from Wasilla, Alaska, a place from whence, thankfully, no other unbearably stupid people have emerged) and I think that prompted me to check them out. I have a great deal of pride in the music that my old hometown is cranking out these days (and no small amount of pride in the fact that my beloved Oregon Ducks just handed the USC Trojans the worst ass whoopin’ of Pete Carroll’s tenure there. I don’t want to rub USC’s noses in it too hard, though – they’ve given Oregon so much already. Like 613 yards of offense. 386 of which came from our tiny, spry quarterback) and so I’m usually willing to check out a Portland band. But Portugal. The Pretentious is giving me reason to revise this strategy.

In many ways, The Redundant Album Title is a prototypical Album I’m Not Going to Like At All. Among its many offenses, it strives to revive the 1970s, or some TV dream of the 1970s, in much the same way Amazing Baby tried to do earlier this year (you’ll remember that I despised them as well). They come off as the kind of people who will futilely argue with me that the Bee Gees were fun and that “Stayin’ Alive” is “catchy.” I don’t care; fuck the Bee Gees. On top of that, Portugal Period The Man traffics in that annoying white-bread funk that was made more popular by Maroon 5. There are several reasons that this is a crime against music and possibly humanity. I’ll just list the first few that come to mind: 1) George Clinton 2) Curtis Mayfield 3) early Stevie wonder 4) As a rule, you should never do anything that Maroon 5 beat you to the punch on.  Do you really want to be accused of riding those coattails?

And that’s just off the top of my head.

Also, the best bits on The Satanist (fixed that for you, Portugal. The Repetitive) are sue-ably close in melody and sound to the best bits of MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, an album I appreciate more and more after hearing shitty bands like Amazing Baby and Portugal The Seriously, I’m Not Putting A Fucking Period After the First Word of Your Stupid Band Name. If Joe Satriani could get a nice settlement from Coldplay over whatever stupid song of theirs (allegedly) ripped off a stupid song of his, MGMT could probably fund their next three albums and tours with the money owed them by PTM. If I had the technology, I’d do a mash-up of PTM’s “The Sun” and MGMT’s “Weekend Wars” that would be particularly instructive. And, what PTM isn’t taking from MGMT’s songbook, they’re taking from Curtis Mayfield’s playbook (you know, the guy who supplied the “People Get Ready” part to Bob Marley’s “One Love/ People Get Ready”. Also, the guy who wrote fucking “Superfly”). If Mayfield were alive today, I imagine “music” like he’d find on The Satanic Satanist would kill him.

Which brings me to perhaps the biggest crime committed by PTM on The Satanic Scientologist (see, that’s at least funny. Did you know Scientologists hate gay people? That’s why the guy who directed Crash left their flock.) is one of prioritizing style over substance to a harmful degree. Now, I’m not saying that substance is better than style – good bands (and artists like the aforementioned Curtis Mayfield) have both. The Clash, a.k.a. the best band ever, welded the two together in a way few bands have been able to manage since. But it seems like, at least lately, a lot of bands are coming out aping their favorite old records without actually saying anything. PTM, for instance, offers this line in the annoyingly repetitive song “Lovers in Love”: “Lovers loving love just like these lovers are loving in love.” Unless you have some odd combination of Autism and Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, that’s just plain lazy and you should either be kicked in the crotch or forced to watch Suzanne Somers blather on about how bad vaccines are for you (I thought about linking to some of that, but that would be cruel). And every other song on this pastiche-and-shit sandwich has that same, lumbering, white-bread funk beat and an annoying, Scissor Sisters-esque falsetto, courtesy of singer John Baldwin Gourley. I propose a new rule, kids: if you use a white-funk falsetto, your song has to be at least as awesome as Beck’s “Debra.” If it isn’t, you’re instantly classifying yourself as a douchebag.

Douche. The Bag’s defenders (assuming they have any) will probably accuse me of taking the band too seriously and say, “They’re just fun, man!” That’s fine. People think that about Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, and Jimmy Buffet too. That doesn’t mean I have to like any of that shit (and, in case you missed where I’m going with this, I don’t). One man’s fun is another man’s torture (not to beat a dead Trojan horse here, but I’m guessing Jeremiah Masoli’s fun last Saturday was not fun for a USC defense that had, until they met the Ducks, allowed just under 80 rushing yards a game) and you’re well within your rights to have “fun” listening to Period. The Used Incorrectly. If you do, however, pray that you never encounter the music of Curtis Mayfield; the experience will illuminate your folly with such blinding clarity that you’ll set fire to your house to get rid of your copy of The Satanic Satanist and the stench that it left there.


51 thoughts on “Portugal. The Man Makes Crappy. The Album

  1. nice review! I listen to Maroon 5 too!

  2. Nice slam on alaska. Finding that There is No Answer to Find, not a redundant blog subtitle? douche.

    • Your insightful and well-written comment has caused me to completely rethink everything I’ve said about Alaska and I write to you now in the most earnest spirit of contrition.
      Wait. No, I don’t.
      You see, yikes, the “slam” to which you refer is more a slam on unbearably stupid people like the people in Portugal. The Man and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (or people who come to music blogs to defend their favorite states). Those people happen to come from Alaska, but the joke is about them and their stupidity, not the state from which they came. I would have made the same joke if they came from Wisconsin.
      Furthermore, “Finding that There is No Answer to Find” is a quote from a Flaming Lips song discussed in a more recent review which you apparently did not read. The blog subtitle changes every couple days on my whim because that’s my reason for doing most things that I do. But I do thank you for taking the time to try to insult me about it. Which reminds me: let me congratulate you for being the first person in the history of the internet to call someone a douche in a comment section. Seriously, you’re the very first person I’ve ever seen do that. I hope you feel pride on the level that I feel it when ignorant people with no regard for grammar come to my paltry little blog and call me names as if I gave a single shit (or even a wet fart) that they think I’m either a feminine hygiene product or the French word for “shower.”

      • you also obviously know nothing about this band or else you would comprehend the fact that because they are from the same city in Alaska as Sarah Palin does NOT mean they support her.they actually completely disagree with her.

        p.s. fuck the ducks

  3. The GnR fans were way more entertaining.

  4. way to stray off the fucking topic douche fucker.youre probably one of the biggest pieces of crap in this world.people like you are the reason the internet is a horrible place.the fact you think the clash is the best band in the world also makes you an fucking idiot.youre a very bitter critical person and you need a bitchslap of reality and a better taste in music.maybe music that is actually GOOD and has MEANING

  5. I haven’t been here before so I don’t know if it’s your “shtick” to be just plain rude – but it’s one thing to hate an album – everyone is entitled to their opinion. But to call people who I’m 100% positive you don’t know douche bags and comparable to Sarah Palin is just plain bad journalism in my book. Also they moved to Portland almost 10 years ago, so I figure that makes them natives. Reviews like this disappoint me…

  6. Let me please take the time to appreciate you for spending, what I’m’ sure was hours, writing a review where all you do is bitch and moan about some bands lack of creativity and originality. Really. It takes a real writer to be able to fabricate a story like that that’s completely false. If you are a person who appreciates music at all, you would recognize that, like most outlets of creativity, music is an art form. Art is subjective. As you may hate Portugal. The Man and wish they’d never produced an album, please tell that to the MILLIONS of fans attending their sold out shows every. single. day. Where you’re sitting at home writing a blog about how glorified you believe your opinion is, these guys are selling out shows around the world. They have been compared to Led Zeppelin. They have sold millions of albums, including your favorite, The Satanic Satanist. I appreciate your stance on Portugal. The Man, but once you meet these men and see how truly talented and good hearted they are, please take your opinion and exercise it on another band that is actually horrid like Owl City or The Devil Wears Prada. Not the God-like mortals of PTM. Thanks!

  7. You’re fucking retarded. This is one of the most creative bands around right now. Get the dick out of your ear, so you can make a legitimate review.

  8. hey, does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

  9. Perhaps it’s too late to change your mind about these guys, for I respect every point you made about this album. However I would like to suggest you strip away all of your opinions and listen to their first couple of albums (especially Church Mouth) because each individual album is radically different than the other. I don’t know, maybe you’d like some of it. These guys were one of my favorites BEFORE the Satanic Satanist.

  10. Wow. That’s some serious shit. You’re kind of mean. Were you abused as a child?

  11. your worse then the idiots from pitchfork, thanks for the worse review ever written

  12. what audacity u have man.
    if only u felt what felt
    thought what they thought
    and did what they did..

    please you asshole music critic
    please i beg u
    come out with a cd
    call it ur “AMBIENT” or “Indie”
    see how that gets written up

    hopefully by ignorant people like you who are just to plain stubborn

  13. You call this a “review”?

    Insulting a band is not a review, it’s called being a dick.

    I don’t care if people hate the bands that I love, but please don’t call this an album review; it was more of a “I’m-going-to-complain-and-try-to-sound-intelligent rant”.

  14. I enjoy sarcasm, and to be honest, some of your points are valuable, if you didn’t have to be such an asshole bringing them to light — if you truly want your opinion taken seriously, maybe you should stop being such a hypocrite (because you, sir are the only douche bag i’ve discovered on this page)

    The only reason you are getting so many comments, is because John has linked this review from PTMs twitter account —- and why not? All of us audiophiles who know better, get to rip into: You. The Moron

    And when it all comes down to it, you must have terrible taste in music, or as someone pointed out, a dick shoved into your eardrums.

  15. p.s. I realize your want to wage war on Bitchfork, but don’t be a little bitch about it. Do it properly, respectfully, and perhaps with some research thrown in (just a thought) and then yeah, you MIGHT be taken seriously.

  16. I think you had a bias from the beginning, which is why you shouldn’t have “reviewed” it anyway. Go find an album you like and review that and thanks for making me like this band even more… Douche!

  17. It’s quite obvious by this ‘review’ that you did not even listen to the album. You barely touched on the music, focusing only on your opinions of the band name and song titles. No examples of actual music besides just lyrics. I’m beginning to believe you have no ears on that hollow skull.
    Focus on the music next time, sir. Until then, you have lost all credibility with anybody who has read this.

  18. I don’t think there was a single legitimate claim made here today, mainly because this is not a review. This is supposed to be a cd review, but the only “Music” reviewing you did was based on lyrics, titles, and where people are from. There was no discussion of music except for the brief mention of falsetto, which, if anything, shows a lack of education in a musical field. Anyone who reads this review should be confused by the comparison of the funk musician, Curtis Mayfield, to the progressive rock musicians/band, Portugal. The Man. I’m not saying the album is perfect or that it is awful, simply that this review has nothing to do with the Music, the CD, except for, again, the title and lyrics. I hope the redundancy of my post is as repetitive as this review, as it too has no validity.

    So this “review” would be better defined as a “criticism.” Please fix your website immediately.

  19. You really didn’t mention anything about their sound. You just talked about MGMT, Autism, punctuation, and bashed Alaska. You’re clearly not a journalist; you’re a fucking moron.

  20. Good to know that the best way to reach your word count is to stray off topic and make up a billion half-assed insults and ridiculous substitute band names to reflect how much you loathe the band.Your so-called journalistic effort is abhorrent and makes us real writers want to vomit.

  21. Good to know that the best way to meet your word count is to wander aimlessly off -topic, construct countless half-assed insults, and create ridiculous amounts of horribly unfunny faux band names to relentlessly drive home the point that you utterly loathe the band based on poor, self-proclaimed facts. Bravo to this abhorrent journalistic effort. Now every schmuck that dislikes a band for no real substantial reason will know that they too have the ability to bitch and whine about it and pass it off as an honest review. The future of journalism has you to thank and your plaque is in the mail. Now us true writers have to get back to writing the reviews that should actually be published for humans to read.

  22. Your self absorbed bullshit reigns supreme throughout the above review. P.TM isn’t The Clash, or George Clinton, or Curtis Mayfield, or Stevie Wonder, or Maroon 5, or MGMT. They aren’t about fitting into some pseudo-music connoisseurs ill informed idea about music either. They are about music and love, period.

    Implying that anyone is a douche, plagiarist, or music criminal based off of a listen to 1 of their 4 albums earns you that title. I explained myself because I didn’t think you would understand. Do you get it now?

    I came upon this review because the band made note of it on a public forum. Otherwise my night would have been a little better, with less annoyance from a potently pungent prick of a person. I know you love alliteration. You are welcome.

    It seems someone needs to get. laid? Making you less hostile feeling

    or needs to get the used douche out of his. ears! For music criticism purposes(i highly recommend this one)

    or squeeze the dick out of his. ass

    Repetitive humor aside, the cliches of this blog will always be:

    One man’s fun is another man’s torture, and if you don’t have anything intelligent to say, then shut the fuck up.

  23. i was too lazy to read any comments but uhh Portugal. The Man is sick. ive seen them live a few times and theyre hands down the best band ive seen. obviously youre not a musician or else you’d prolly like this band alot. every single one of them are amazing players. and if you actually listen to each instrument on its own you notice how talented they are, each instrument is doing something completely different from the other one yet they all fit together. nowadays you dont come across alot of bands where the musicians actually know how to play there instruments. i dont get why the period in their name bugs you either. are you retarded and couldnt figure out their name the first time you saw it? its cool and id say original, which is hard to say when mainstream music is consisting of vocoders and NO talent.

  24. Heh. It’s like someones trying to hard to be like Maddox, not doing too great of a job of it either.

  25. I’ll step out and agree that Satanist is absolutely their worst album and probably the most mediocre-to-awful thing they’ve done.

    Most music acts are derivative in some fashion (especially you’re inexplicably beloved 80’s follow-up act MGMT; how you can criticize this band for being pretentious then turn around and love other Portland acts and MGMT is a bit beyond me, but whatever). But Satanist is especially derivative, in all of the most boring ways.

    You might want to give their earlier ep It’s Complicated Being a Wizard a shake, or maybe possibly Censored Colors. You might level some of the same accusations against that one. It’s derivative, but it’s my kind of derivative.

  26. i love how this prick tries to defend himself after the first negative piece of feedback by writing arguably the most pretentious troll-comeback ever. Where are you now? BTW, it’s a fucking internet album review on a no name blog, don’t try to write like you’re a fucking omnipotent english professor. You’re not clever, and your writing style is annoying in the least (Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise k bud?). Happy Thanksgiving

  27. Pingback: An Apology to Portugal. The Man « Bollocks!

  28. Well, real mature, guys. What an attempt to crucify a man for his opinions on music. Music is meant to be different for different people, so if he doesn’t like the band, so what? He’s allowed to do that because he’s a person and can form his own opinions. On a personal level, I think PTM are alright, I enjoy a number of their songs, but I could really care less if a single person across the entire internet doesn’t like them. Grow up, seriously.

    Oh, and as a neutral response to the article itself, well done on writing a well-structured and witty review, it was enjoyable to read even though I disagree with the stance on the music itself.

  29. Why are people being so hard on the dude? PTM are an average band at best. Nothing special about them. He gave his opinions (which is what blogs are usually for) and he love The Clash. Give the dude a break…

  30. please shoot yourself

  31. Pingback: Why I Don’t Hate Vampire Weekend « Bollocks!

  32. ok so you think portugal. the man has stolen their sound from MGMT. really? pretty sure they have been making music for a bit longer. I’m guessing you listen to Disturbed and probably Nickelback among other things. Do you play gamecube and carry around black dildos as well for your bro-rape? that would make sense then. but it just might help if you saw them live. If you really think about it, most bands these days don’t have very good names anyways. I like their name though, but let’s be honest there aren’t many good ones left.
    And when writing a music “review,” maybe you should stick to talking about music rather than college football. Really?

    • You’re waaaaaaay late to the game of bashing me for hating this album. Guess what? I still hate it. I pointed out that a few songs on the Satanic Satanist sound eerily like a few songs on MGMT’s debut album. I did not accuse P.TM of any sort of wholesale ripoff of MGMT. Also, in a music “review” on “my” “blog” (see, I can abuse quotation marks too), I can talk about whatever the fuck I want to. You don’t have to read it. But I must say, I greatly appreciate people driving tons and tons of traffic to my blog to verbally attack me for the grave sin of not liking something they like. Really.

  33. This “review” was shit. This band is immensely creative. And if you knew why the band name is what it is, you wouldn’t have said it was bad.

    Next time, don’t use shitty arguments that make you sound like a retarded being not worthy of having ears.

    • Brent, with all due respect, the time for calling me names over this review has really passed. I wrote it like a year and a half ago, man. MOVE ON. Also, I’ve read interviews with Portugal’s singer about how they chose the band name and I still think it’s stupid. This is called a difference of opinion, Brent, and adults can have them without calling each other retards.

  34. Haha, what an idiot. Sounds like a true Duck fan to me! I’m glad that all of the other commenters have agreed that this guy is a joke.

    (If you seriously have it in you to “hate” a musical group, try turning on the news or something because there’s a lot out there that actually deserves the misplaced passion in this article.)

  35. Pingback: Is This What Passes for Substance Now? « Bollocks!

  36. I know I’m late but hey…
    Yea, the name sucks. The music…meh. I’ve heard worse. Personally, as long as I never have to hear another song by Adele, Foster the People or Gotye, I’ll be happy…
    Public radio today is so screwed (notice I said ‘public radio’ and not ‘music’) Plenty of great musicians out there (Seun Kuti, Alabama Shakes, Alberta Cross, La Roux to name a few) but just less and less of the exposure for these bands.

    Keep on keepin on…

  37. Pingback: The Future of the Left, Pitchfork, and Fair Fights « Bollocks!

  38. Really? Weekend Wars and The Sun? Good luck mashing those ones up LOL. The progression, Key, Tempo are ALL different. The fact you claim they stole that song just shows how stupid you really are. Go get a real job and stop writing about things you know nothing about. To review music you need more than a keyboard and ears you need knowledge about music. You obviously don’t know anything and are just an angry little douche monster.
    Oh yea, Clash the best band ever?! Are you fucking kidding me!? You lost any shred of credibility you might have had with that one right there…..
    Maroon 5 and Portugal are not even in the same genre and are NOTHING alike… fuck your blog is so full of nonsense it’s ridiculous…

    • So… writing this blog isn’t my job. And you shouldn’t care what strangers think of the things you like. But me not liking something you like doesn’t mean I know nothing about music. It simply means I don’t like something you like. You seem tense. Do you need a glass of water?

  39. I know I am late to the party, but I fucking hate this shit band and their gay, hipster, soy-boyesque fans. My friend introduced me to them years ago and I told him if he plays them again we aren’t friends anymore. That pain has extrapolated 10 fold now that their shitty single, Feel It Still, is being blasted on every fucking radio in a 500 mile radius. This band and their faggot fans can get fucked already.

    • Take this homophobic bullshit elsewhere, champ. You can dislike a band without resorting to dehumanizing language.

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