In the Mountain in the Cloud

There's a fine coat of glitter across the major-label debut by Alaska's Portugal. The Man. For In the Mountain in the Cloud, they piled on the mascara, set the way-back machine for 1972 and turned out 11 tracks full of vintage glam-rock pouting and preening. Songs like "So American" and "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)," with their cascading celestial-choir vocals and rangy guitars, make the band sound like Ziggy Stardust's distant cousin, and frontman John Gourley's elegant alto packs all the drama and grandiosity songs this regal require. "We all get strange," he coos at one point, "but we're cool with it." When being strange sounds this sublime, why shouldn't they be cool with it?

Listen to "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)":

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From The Archives Issue 1138: September 1, 2011