10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the modern psych genre, where The Flaming Lips have outdone themselves several times over, MGMT is raising its own stakes and bringing its film Optimizer to accompany its self-titled third album. It’s an easy, trippy way to get lost for 45 minutes. As expected, the band takes full advantage of the studio as well, pulling out as many stops as a stereo mix will allow. The soundtrack flows well as an album, with each track serving as a counterpoint to the next. “Introspection” comes through as a highlight, marching like something from The Rolling Stones’ unfairly maligned album Their Satanic Majesties’ Request. Digging from those early roots of psychedelia and bringing things to the hyper-present is what MGMT does. The controversial single “Your Life Is a Lie” creates deliberate tension that’s relieved by the supersonic breakout of “A Good Sadness,” where harmonies burst through the channels in various positions. Strange, exploratory, and uncompromising, MGMT expects no one to get everything on first listen—but after multiple attempts, don’t be surprised if you’re hypnotized by the weirdness.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the modern psych genre, where The Flaming Lips have outdone themselves several times over, MGMT is raising its own stakes and bringing its film Optimizer to accompany its self-titled third album. It’s an easy, trippy way to get lost for 45 minutes. As expected, the band takes full advantage of the studio as well, pulling out as many stops as a stereo mix will allow. The soundtrack flows well as an album, with each track serving as a counterpoint to the next. “Introspection” comes through as a highlight, marching like something from The Rolling Stones’ unfairly maligned album Their Satanic Majesties’ Request. Digging from those early roots of psychedelia and bringing things to the hyper-present is what MGMT does. The controversial single “Your Life Is a Lie” creates deliberate tension that’s relieved by the supersonic breakout of “A Good Sadness,” where harmonies burst through the channels in various positions. Strange, exploratory, and uncompromising, MGMT expects no one to get everything on first listen—but after multiple attempts, don’t be surprised if you’re hypnotized by the weirdness.

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