Release date: September 17th, 2013
MGMT is a psychedelic indie pop band from Connecticut. They made their name after achieving a great amount of success from their debut album Oracular Spectacular. Their next album, Congratulations, was met with mixed reviews. And now we are onto their third full length, the self titled, MGMT. If you are expecting an album full of the radio ready singles Oracular Spectacular had, you have come to the wrong place.
MGMT starts off with the very strange “Alien Days.” This one of the strongest tracks on the record. The song is about enlightenment, staying open to ideas and feeling guilty for feeling bad about yourself when others have it much worse.
The second song, “Cool Song no. 2,” keeps the strangeness going. It is a simultaneously upbeat and dark song. “Mystery Disease” is another dark song with a very prominent drum beat and layers of whirling synthesizers.
After “Mystery Disease” there is a cover of the Faine Jade song “Introspection.” To me, this is one of the better moments of the album which is a little disappointing considering it’s not even their song.
Next is the annoyingly catchy and repetitive “Your Life is a Lie.” This song is a lot more happy and sunshiny sounding than any of the previous tracks which is a nice break, but it’s lyrically nothing impressive and nothing aside from the instrumental and tone of the song stands out and the tone only stands out because of its placement on the album.
The next two songs are “A Good Sadness” and “Astro-Mancy.” They are both dark sounding repetitive sounds. In my opinion, “Astro-Mancy” is the weakest point of the album; it kind of just goes on and on even though it’s only five minutes.
“I Love You Too, Death” comes next and it is one of the few tracks I really enjoyed despite having a needlessly long intro. It is very psychedelic and the vocals are kind of awkwardly whispered, but for whatever reason it seems to work here.
“Plenty of Girls in the Sea” is a very fun and catchy song with a lot of goofy lyrics. This is another one of the albums better moments.
The album closes with “An Orphan of Fortune” which ends up being more of the same slow, slightly dark, repetitive weirdness. It works better on this track than many of the others, but it is still nothing that really catches my attention.
Overall, this was a very disappointing listen for me. I completely respect how ambitious this album is, but it just doesn’t seem to work. It’s a bit too repetitive, lacks direction and ends up just being weird and confusing without anything that really brings you in. The production on this album is very compressed and ends up making all of the songs sound very flat and lack a bit of dynamic.
If you’ve been a fan of MGMT in the past, then you should give this album a listen. (By Nathan Cornell)
For fans of: Animal Collective, Beck, Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun
Listen to “Your Life is a Lie” below: