New Reviews: MGMT and Freelance Whales

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Before MGMT's second album Congratulations even hit stores, it was being hailed as the Most Polarizing Album of 2010. The LP's aesthetic is a galaxy away from the electro-pop of Oracular Spectacular's hits "Kids" and "Time to Pretend" — Congratulations finds Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden mining late-'60s psychedelic and folk rock for a nine-track album that, for better or worse, makes no attempts to recapture their earlier commercial success.

"With Congratulations, the knowing smartasses of Oracular Spectacular seem confused about what's next. The result is a hazy, hit-and-miss album that will likely alienate some fans of the debut, but one that also testifies to MGMT's restlessness as songwriters and human beings," Will Hermes writes in his three-star review. "They attempt to not just keep it weird — which they've done — but to figure out how they can be in it for the long haul. It's a solid start." Highlights include "Someone's Missing" and the first "single" "Flash Delirium." For much more on MGMT, check out our profile of the band in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, out tomorrow.

Freelance Whales' Weathervanes is also out this week, earning a two-and-a-half-star review from Rolling Stone. "Known for playing impromptu gigs on subway platforms, and fond of banjos and glockenspiels, these Queens natives are about as friendly as a New York band can be," Christian Hoard wrote in his review. "Mostly, though, Weathervanes is pleasantly nonconfrontational — like a Demetri Martin routine, minus the funny."

For much more on the latest albums released these past few weeks, check out our Album Reviews section.