#6 – Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends
Take the psychedelic rock showmen of Portugal. The Man who cover the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s “Dayman” live, and pair them with studio wizard Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and you get the group’s most accessible album yet. With the band’s seventh studio album in eight years, P.TM set out to create a concept album. On Evil Friends, lyrics are shared between songs, reprisals are sprinkled throughout, yet each song is able to stand alone as well.
Don’t let the head-bopping and rousing choruses fool you into thinking these guys have sold-out for breezy, hollow-head pop. The tunes are chalk full of tongue-in-cheek criticism of the world around us: The pill popping culture of today doesn’t need a “Modern Jesus,” maybe we are too caught up in being “…Dreamers, someday believers.” The powers-that-be and our military budget are under fire in “Waves,” while the infectious stand-out “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” invites you to “live in ecstasy.” The haunting closer “Smile” brings the album to a poignant, but chaotic conclusion: “I don’t wanna talk about the world, alright? I just want to sleep with a smile tonight.”
This batch of catchy compositions accomplishes the rare balance of style and substance with immersive, tap-your-toe tracks and a cohesive concept. And at their current pace, P.TM should have some new product to push just as you get that aching for more. Don’t worry, they “won’t sell you nothing you can’t use.” -Stanton
Other accolades: #36 on Amazon