Sound — 7
Portugal. The Man has always been a little off. This release is, while different than a lot of their work, it's also a lot alike. I heard about Portugal last year because they were going on tour with The Fall Of Troy, Damiera, and Tera Melos (all great bands). I checked them out, and they came across as a little weird. It's good, but it's great, something the music industry calls "experimental". I love it. Some of the tracks on this release are electronic, techno-esque, while others use conventional rock weapons: guitar, drums, etc. Each song, however, has the high pitched, pop-like vocals of John Gourley. Whether an electronic song or a hard rock song, Gourley can definitely pull it off with the same vocal style. One word to describe Portugal. The Man would be "versitile". The only thing that I don't like is that the sound varies so much that it dilutes every track on the album. That does, however, make every track perfect for a different mood. Portugal has a definite unique sound, and it is brought out well in "Wizard".
Lyrics — 9
As I said, John Gourley is extremely talented and versitile. He can sing to any type of music, and he can write lyrics that will keep you thinking. Gourley is a very creative person, which shines in this release. In the first track, his style is boy-bandish (but it's still good, don't worry). Then continues into such things as high pitched whispers and squeals, regular singing, and the like. Gourley is a crazy vocalist and I respect that. It does, however get old quickly, but it's not bad. Taken in short bursts, you can really learn to enjoy his lyrics and vocal style(s).
Overall Impression — 7
This album is so experimental it's nearly borderline prog (but it is, of course, not). From track one, you feel the mood of the song, and you will feel different for every track. Portugal tends to be powerful and enlightening in their music. I suggest laying on a couch and stare at the ceiling while listening to the album, and just listen to it. You will really feel the power it has. The only bad thing about this is that I feel it strays from Portugal. The Man's 2006 release "Waiter! You Vultures", a true rock classic. This album is weird and experimental, which is great and I love that, but it's just a little too weird. Looking at the back of the case, each track appears to have 2 titles, but one really stands out. Each track's first title is as follows: "It's Complicated Being A Wizard", "Opal Magic", "Ruby Magic", "Sapphire Magic", "Amethyst Magic", "Emerald Magic", "Amber Magic", "Gold Magic", "Crystal Magic", and the ever elusive "Black Magic". I don't about you, but to me that comes off as strange. It sounds like their trying to name the new Pokemon game. I love the weird and I love how different it is, but I think Portugal. The Man should dial down the straight-jacket approach just a little on the next release.