Portamento

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jun 9, 2012
    9
    The Drums's Summertime! EP became legendary immediately. Their major label debut was a little more worrisome, as it lifted some of the original songs ("Let's Go Surfing," "Down By The Water") but featured little else that was the equal of the other original songs ("Don't Be A Jerk, Johnny" or "Submarine"). Not having any sort of first-hand information or insider scoop, I'm going to blameThe Drums's Summertime! EP became legendary immediately. Their major label debut was a little more worrisome, as it lifted some of the original songs ("Let's Go Surfing," "Down By The Water") but featured little else that was the equal of the other original songs ("Don't Be A Jerk, Johnny" or "Submarine"). Not having any sort of first-hand information or insider scoop, I'm going to blame that on moving to Brooklyn. I'm also going to make a couple of other assumptions, but don't want to inadvertently be guilty of libel. If I suggest the remaining members of The Drums are influenced by their (totally normal for their age bracket) drug use and crazy youth lifestyle, understand that I do so from a perfectly benign perspective. Listening to Portamento under the influence of... let's say strong cough medicine will reveal something in the nature of these songs. Whether that was put there consciously or accidentally is none of my business. But repeat listens of "If He Likes It Let Him Do It" (which gets incrementally spookier with each repeat listen) is enough to convince me there is a targeted mental state for Portamento. It also speaks to what virtually everyone else has noted is increasing darkness creeping into this once sunkissed band obsessed with smashing things like Joy Division and the Beach Boys together. Portamento is darker, yes, but not completely dark. A Smiths reference isn't a terrible starting point, as long as it's clear The Drums don't use the Britpop tropes of Marr & Co. For every patently dark song, there are two not dark songs providing the necessary buoyancy. The best songs are the not dark ones, frankly. "Days" is better than anything on the first full length. The band has admitted that their interpersonal dynamics are too volatile to give the band much of a future. Regrettable. But if true, fans have to enjoy each gift we receive as if it was the last. Expand
  2. Sep 22, 2011
    9
    I'm sorry - but this album deserves much more than a petty 'average' 6.4 score. I personally found it a charming smiths-esque album with simple but sing-along-worthy vocals and melodies that will stay with you for weeks. Having played it on repeat for the first few days after getting it, and still returning to it weeks after, I can safely say that it is a more than worthwhile album toI'm sorry - but this album deserves much more than a petty 'average' 6.4 score. I personally found it a charming smiths-esque album with simple but sing-along-worthy vocals and melodies that will stay with you for weeks. Having played it on repeat for the first few days after getting it, and still returning to it weeks after, I can safely say that it is a more than worthwhile album to invest your time into. Expand
  3. Feb 18, 2012
    8
    I wasn't the biggest fan with The Drums' self-titled debut. I was hesitant about getting this album but I listened to a few songs before getting it and really liked them, so I got it. It surpassed my expectations. "Portamento" is actually a really good record. Every song is simple in it's own right, but also really catchy and hummable. I thoroughly enjoyed this album. B+
  4. Sep 17, 2011
    7
    Indie-pop group The Drums release their follow-up to their 2010 debut, this record has a way mature sound then the first one did, it blends modern indie-rock with an old-school new wave sound. It features unique tracks like "Money", but also has down sides with tracks like "I Need A Doctor". All together, this album leads to a series of unique and interesting songs, but also blends newIndie-pop group The Drums release their follow-up to their 2010 debut, this record has a way mature sound then the first one did, it blends modern indie-rock with an old-school new wave sound. It features unique tracks like "Money", but also has down sides with tracks like "I Need A Doctor". All together, this album leads to a series of unique and interesting songs, but also blends new wave and indie rock in some of the songs. Expand
  5. Sep 17, 2011
    9
    The Drums sophomore album, is an incredibly dizzy album that builds upon the melodies and the hooks of the self-titled album. Portamento starts off with 5 songs that rack up a instant play-list with the sound and resonance with the listeners. Portamento, is about discovering what is to come, while remembering how important the past is...and knowing you will take both with you as you moveThe Drums sophomore album, is an incredibly dizzy album that builds upon the melodies and the hooks of the self-titled album. Portamento starts off with 5 songs that rack up a instant play-list with the sound and resonance with the listeners. Portamento, is about discovering what is to come, while remembering how important the past is...and knowing you will take both with you as you move forward... Expand
  6. Sep 30, 2011
    8
    I am sure that this will labelled as smiths-esque or post punk band by many critics because it is easy to label in order to name it.. but there is a way of search work here. critics should stop comparing one group to another ex-one(s), they'd better search for emotional soundscape and sincerity in details!!!!!
  7. Dec 2, 2011
    7
    While it is a good record, it does lack the charm and brightness of their debut. This record is a lot darker and the lyrics go into a lot more depth and are alot more personal. There are still some catchy melodies going on but not on the same scale as before. I wouldn't say the Drums experiment here but they do try one or two new things. It's probably 2 or 3 tracks too long. I wonder whereWhile it is a good record, it does lack the charm and brightness of their debut. This record is a lot darker and the lyrics go into a lot more depth and are alot more personal. There are still some catchy melodies going on but not on the same scale as before. I wouldn't say the Drums experiment here but they do try one or two new things. It's probably 2 or 3 tracks too long. I wonder where the band go from here. Expand
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Under The Radar
    Nov 3, 2011
    80
    A disarmingly personal record on which frontman Jonny Pierce dissects his past and present with equal parts brazen candor and tender pathos, never pandering to cheap nostalgia. [Oct 2011, p.104]
  2. Oct 11, 2011
    80
    Somehow Portamento is snuggled amidst St. Vincent and Braids and Tim Hecker and Colin Stetson on my year-end list.
  3. Oct 6, 2011
    40
    As an album, it's probably the dullest anticipation of the year.