Mix a little Bee Gees, a lotta rock influences, and some macho swagger and you have In the Mountain, In the Cloud (IMIC) by Portugal. The Man.  IMIC, Portugal’s sixth record, released in 2011, is a flat out rock album and each song is significant thanks to the strings and horns that that give each track depth and majesty. IMIC feels like a concept album since all the songs share similar themes and sounds, but still, each track is unique, carrying its own catchy hooks and epic appeal. 

John Gourley’s piercing voice is transported from the disco era but the guitars are clearly the remnants of 60s and 70s rock.  The album is funky (especially All Your Light) and has a bravado that the previous albums have been building up to.  IMIC also has clearly understandable lyrics which make the songs even more addicting. With lines like “There were two monkeys talking sounding like little dogs/They were barkin’ and bitchin’ about what was wrong” from the song, Once Was One, Portugal has created lyrics that capture the imagination and make this album impossible to forget.

Track Breakdown:

Got It All bows to its disco influences with vocals chanting “shake shake shake the night away” in a dreamy soprano voice, then the strings burst in and help the song build to a magestic chorus.

Everything You See is a definite standout due to the dreamy chorus which sweeps you away in the grandeur of the track.

Head Is A Flame (Cool With It) starts with a deep funk guitar and then mellows out.  You can definitely sense some smooth 70s rock influences which set the tone for the song.  As the song builds to a powerful chorus, Portugal shows its restraint and complete understanding of the tone of the song by keeping the chorus subtle and relaxed.

When & Where:

IMIC has that triumphant sound coupled with lyrics about soul-searching and loneliness and should match any monumental or exciting moment.

Got It All:

Everything You See:

Head Is A Flame (Cool With It):

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