Portugal. The Man’s latest record plays unerringly like a free-spirited summer-anthem collection. At times electronic in nature, at times bluesy, at times more rock than anything, the indie heavy-hitter band’s ninth record is surprisingly forward-thinking for a mainstream indie-pop band with nine records under their belt.
At times, Woodstock’s quasi-folk, quasi-blues aesthetic overshadows the pop nature of the band, but is always brought back down to earth with tracks that remind the listener of the band’s real appeal: they’re fun.
And there’s really no better example of that than “Noise Pollution.” Throwing away all of their non-pop elements, the track focuses on giving listeners nothing less than a highly danceable track with what’s probably the best indie-pop hook of the summer so far. In an odd collaboration with Zoe Manville and actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the track manages to capture the indulgence of pop without falling prey to overused conventions or tropes.
It’s not the band’s best work, but of all the summer albums rearing their heads, Woodstock isn’t the worst.