December 1, 2010 by Dan Swinhoe
MGMT were the shiz in 2007. Their debut “Oracular Spectacular” dropped and through the power of those pop-perfect singles “Kids” & “Time To Pretend” they became one of the biggest bands of the year.
So naturally the follow up is going to create a lot of interest and after being leaked the band have streamed the whole thing on their site. Cue hundreds of reviews and commentary.
“It’s Working” starts off in typically MGMT style, a trippy psychedelic take on the indie beach boys rock, and it feels like they’ve picked off where they left off. But, being MGMT, it can’t be that simple.
Next, “A Song For Dan Treacy” (The singer of equally peculiar band Television Personalities) sounds tame and normal, an upbeat song that any band could write but given a bit more life thanks to some synth additions. and things seem to dawdle through the whole record. the beat and energy that made the debut so alluring is gone.
“Someone’s Missing” is ok, but builds to nothing but the end of the song. and while the wonderfully titled “Flash Delirium” is a funky take on classic brit pop, it’s nothing particularly special.
And that’s the theme of the whole album: it’s good, it’s nice, but it’s not amazing or special. “Flash…” is the closest thing to a single and it’s nothing on the likes of “Kids”
“Siberian Break” is by far the worst thing here, at over 12 minutes it drags without ever becoming interesting, and justifies why sometimes it’s best to avoid people who talk too freely about “artistic freedom”.
“Brian Eno” (An ambient musician) is far more interesting and “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” is one of the best things here, all atmospheric and moody.
They round up with the title track an while it’s a nice quiet finish that would have been fine if the rest of the album equally tame.
This isn’t a terrible album, and the Sonic The Hedgehog on acid cover is great eye candy, but it’s nowhere near a great album either. They have tried to mature, and sidestep the dangers of selling out, but in doing so lost the best part of themselves.
MGMT & Friends
The awesome singles from Oracular plus some of the influences that make up MGMT. And a few of the songs by the people they name check in “Conrgatulations”
“Starman” and “Part Time Punks” are highlights.
A big mash up here, some songs from the debut plus loads of classic songs from the last few years, including Daft Punk, 50 Cent (remember him?) and Reel Big Fish. Although there is a good chance you might not love every track on here it’d be good for a party.
Glam, Glitter & Proto-Punk
This is huge, but there is some real quality here, and pretty much shows the make up of MGMT. Slavish helpings of Queen and Bowie with Iggy, Gary Glitter and a fair few others, this a who’s who on big tunes and terrible dress sense.