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Portugal. The Man: 'Colors'

Portugal. The Man is originally from Wasilla, AK but are currently based in Portland, Ore.
Portugal. The Man is originally from Wasilla, AK but are currently based in Portland, Ore.

Censored Colors, the latest album from experimental rock quartet Portugal The Man, is a lot to digest in a single listen. It's an incredibly lush, beautifully layered collection of trippy songs with lots of unexpected sonic twists and turns. Fortunately, the group's third full-length album in as many years is compelling enough to warrant repeated spins.

It's hard to pinpoint what informs Portugal The Man's sound. There's a bit of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the mix, along with echoes of soul and blues. But there's also a pastiche of vaguely recognizable forms and styles that keep the mix from sounding too familiar.

Censored Colors is an album split into two parts. The first half is a collection of six individual songs, beginning with the memorable "Lay Me Back Down," featuring an addictive and bouncy chorus. It's followed up by the gorgeous "Colors," which abandons the hooks of the opener in favor of melancholy strings and somber lyrics. "All the needy still need / And all the losers still lose / All the preachers still preach / But they ain't bringing no change," sings front man John Baldwin Gourley before a wrenching chorus of voices swells.

On the album's second half, eight lush and rumbling songs blend seamlessly into one another, creating one long, epic finish that begs to be blasted.

Portugal The Man is originally from Wasilla, AK, but is now based in Portland, Ore.

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Tamara Vallejos