Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still

Come here for crimes against punctuation and geography.


Ashley John: I want to take this song at face value. “Feel It Still” worms its way into your head and latches on strong, with an easy chorus and smooth harmonies. The drums and bass give it all a punchy kick behind the soaring vocals. I want to like it in a vacuum, but the video is about #theresistance and the song was supposedly inspired by Bernie Sanders and the title of the album is “Woodstock,” for goodness sake. From an apolitical stance, the bass line makes my brain go blank with the need to dance. And that is my main takeaway from this song, whether Portugal. The Man want it to be or not. 

Alfred Soto: The mild funk is an emetic, not an aphrodisiac, but this is sufficiently weird in its creamy attractive normality to warrant a replay or two.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Do me a favor and put on “AKA M80 The Wolf” by this band right now. No seriously, do it. Consider the fact that as far back ago as last decade, this band’s been around making ponderously regroovable but impenetrable art-rock for scenecore kids who grew up and tend to flip through Danielewski texts and post Facebook statuses about how ’embarrassed’ they were by their flat-iron swoop bangs era on their lunch breaks nowadays. Now that doesn’t have any real variation on how “Feel It Still” could easily be a Fitz & The Tantrums song and likewise will be used in so many commercials and reality shows. It’s still an abstract swamp of words that need sifting as John Gourley works really hard to one-up Cedric Bixler-Zavala at his own game (while displaying a lot less of his idol’s flamboyance),  but it’s an unmistakable desire to invite a whole new realm of people to be heard. They’ve been esoteric for a decade, so I can’t demean them for a shameless go.

Tim de Reuse: References to “feeling it since 1966” and “a war for peace” and “is it coming back?” evoke a vague pro-social activism stew that doesn’t get much more elaboration, so the song as a whole ends up being about not much more than, like, the world right now, and everything, you know, crazy, right? It’s just an excuse for inoffensively clean squeaky-voiced funk; and it does groove, and it’s pleasant, but it’s not much of anything else.

Thomas Inskeep: White-boy “funk” that thinks Beck’s Midnite Vultures is somehow meant ironically. 

Juana Giaimo: “Feel It Still” has a good beat and that falsetto is on the border between catchy and unbearable, but Portugal. The Man should stop telling Mexican band The Chamanas to cover their singles — the original versions finish being mere background music in contrast with the hypnotic sound of The Chamanas.

Joshua Copperman: Literal commercial rock done right, with pristine but uncrowded production and an insanely catchy chorus. “I’m a rebel just for kicks” alone is inspired, and even as the band has no idea what the rest of the song is about, there’s something brilliant about 1. the way it fits over the “Please Mr. Postman” topline and 2. how it’s intended as a subtle commentary on taking sides just to take sides. The hook and horn stabs do their job as synch-ready music; the actual content of the song elevates it way above other Driving Rock.

Reader average: [8.66] (3 votes)

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