Wednesday, July 31, 2013

All I wanna do is live in ecstasy.

When John Gourley, the man behind indie-rock powerhouse Portugal. The Man, was asked how he wanted his next album to feel, he said:

"We just wanted to make something that was The Beatles meets Wu-Tang." (Pigeons & Planes)

Well, they accomplished something close to their goal with Evil Friends, a wholly amazing album. Their most pop-centric album to date, Evil Friends was the product of the band working with producer extraordinaire Brian Burton AKA Danger Mouse. This is important because Danger Mouse has done amazing work on albums for Gnarls Barkley (which he was half of, by the way), The Black Keys, Gorillaz, and Beck. With his feet firmly planted in both the indie rock and hip-hop worlds, Danger Mouse was the perfect man to lead PTM down this road. The most potent pop concoction they created in the lab was their "let's get famous so we don't have to work" anthem, "Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue."

Considering Portugal. The Man's hip-hop sensibilities, producer/mash-up artist Terry Urban decided to bridge the gap with a mash-up album called Portugal. The Man & Friends combining PTM and some of his favorite rappers (Jay-Z, Kanye, Biggie, and J. Cole). The entire five-track album is up for free download on his soundcloud.

My personal favorite is "Purple Night," which mashes up "Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue" with Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)" off his Dynasty: Roc La Familia album. It manages to keep the essence of the PTM track while adding the swagger of a younger pre-Bey Hova.

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