MGMT, ‘MGMT’ – Rolling Stone
×
Home Music Album Reviews

MGMT

MGMT keep finding new and exciting ways to mess with our heads. On the New York art-rock duo’s 2008 Oracular Spectacular, pie-eyed keyboard whimsy was a Trojan horse for cagey lyrics about rock careerism. After the album spawned a couple of small hits, they systematically peeled off a big chunk of their budding fan base with the mad-hatter psychedelic sprawl of 2010’s winkingly titled Congratulations. They’re doubling down on that sound for Album Three, pushing their love of acid-tinged bubblegum right out the back door of the booby hatch, in a good way. 

MGMT is a synth geek’s at times wondrous, at times what-the-fuck vision of spaced-out rock, serving up the artisanal brain salad in all-you-can-eat portions with squiggly, gizmodic melodies nipping about like kites in a wind tunnel. Yet the mood is hardly blissy: “Alien Days” opens with hog-pile vocals that suggest a parliamentary debate between the angels and devils of your soul, over a drowsy, heavy drum track and bloopy prettiness that gets swallowed in metallic static; “Cool Song No. 2” is an ominous rumba rumble; and their cover of “Introspection,” by Sixties psych obscurity Faine Jade, is more a smirking joke about turning in and tuning out than an ad for it. “The trick is to try to stay free/When it’s never that great to begin with,” goes “Plenty of Girls in the Sea,” a twisted Brian Wilson lope that sums up an album where ecstasy never comes as easy as you’d hope it would.

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.