10 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Who would’ve thought that two liberal-arts majors from Connecticut would reinvent psychedelic pop for the 21st century? Certainly not Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, who, before signing to Columbia Records as MGMT, had essentially been writing pop songs as a joke. Turns out, irony would be their most potent device on the duo’s 2007 debut album, Oracular Spectacular, in which they spike rock-star cliches and acid-induced paranoia with millennial angst and hipster snark.

“This is our decision, to live fast and die young,” they declare on opener “Time to Pretend,” a mission statement locked to the pace of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and set ablaze in electro-glam-rock glory. Throughout the album’s top half, there’s a sense of holding on to this hedonistic fantasy—if only to poke fun at it—while also lamenting innocence lost. “The youth are starting to change,” VanWyngarden hypnotically echoes over the hazy, carnivalesque “The Youth,” before the two kick into the frisky, funk-fueled “Electric Feel” and buzzing indie club hit “Kids,” whose bristling beats intend to mask the poignancy of faded memories.

By the second half, they shift into hallucinogenic philosophizing, triumphantly trotting into the cavernous psychedelia of “4th Dimensional Transition” and then drifting into a watery goo of bubbling synths on “The Handshake.” What brings it all together is the Midas touch of producer Dave Fridmann, who lets all the synth squeals, bass thumps, and guitar lines pop as he douses it all in thick distortion. In doing so, he plays right into MGMT’s aim to never be taken too seriously—the secret to one of the decade’s most fun and influential indie records.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Who would’ve thought that two liberal-arts majors from Connecticut would reinvent psychedelic pop for the 21st century? Certainly not Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, who, before signing to Columbia Records as MGMT, had essentially been writing pop songs as a joke. Turns out, irony would be their most potent device on the duo’s 2007 debut album, Oracular Spectacular, in which they spike rock-star cliches and acid-induced paranoia with millennial angst and hipster snark.

“This is our decision, to live fast and die young,” they declare on opener “Time to Pretend,” a mission statement locked to the pace of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and set ablaze in electro-glam-rock glory. Throughout the album’s top half, there’s a sense of holding on to this hedonistic fantasy—if only to poke fun at it—while also lamenting innocence lost. “The youth are starting to change,” VanWyngarden hypnotically echoes over the hazy, carnivalesque “The Youth,” before the two kick into the frisky, funk-fueled “Electric Feel” and buzzing indie club hit “Kids,” whose bristling beats intend to mask the poignancy of faded memories.

By the second half, they shift into hallucinogenic philosophizing, triumphantly trotting into the cavernous psychedelia of “4th Dimensional Transition” and then drifting into a watery goo of bubbling synths on “The Handshake.” What brings it all together is the Midas touch of producer Dave Fridmann, who lets all the synth squeals, bass thumps, and guitar lines pop as he douses it all in thick distortion. In doing so, he plays right into MGMT’s aim to never be taken too seriously—the secret to one of the decade’s most fun and influential indie records.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3.8K Ratings

3.8K Ratings

Gatmobile ,

siiiiick cd

electric feel is the greatest song ever to be heard by human ears. i am glad that mgmt has graced us with their godly music

Brickhaus ,

First review, but had to for this one

After years on iTunes, this is the first time I've been moved to review an album. The album is just what it says it is - a spectacular array or layers of sound. If you've only heard Electric Feel or Kids, try checking out The Youth, The Handshake or Weekend Wars as well, each of which have a different, less electronic sound to them, but still bring something new to the table each time you listen. In a year of lackluster albums (to this point), Oracular Spectacular is easily the best out there, and it's a shame that the full release won't happen until 2008.

vbch ,

Is It Possible to Hear Greater Music?


NO.

Unfortunately for other artists, MGMT has stolen the hearts of all people who know what good music is. I am blown away by the complexity and utter awesomeness of their songs. Electric Feel? – try electric ingenuity. Love Always Remains? - Completely epic. Kids? - most played song on my itunes. Does anyone else head bob to the music in your head hours after listening? Does anyone else bow down to the Gods of music? Does anyone else just love the words “Oracular Spectacular?” That is proof enough that MGMT might just be the best band alive. If I could rate it on my own scale of one to five stars I would give it * * * * * * * * * * * (that’s eleven stars by the way). I can die and rest in peace now, knowing that good music truly does exist.

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