Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MGMT: Album Review - Time To Pretend EP (Re-Mastered)

Consisting of early MGMT takes, the re-mastered re-release of the group’s 2005 Time To Pretend EP offers a glimpse at what the duo was up to during their Wesleyan University days—foreshadowing last year’s lush full-length landscape of sounds dubbed Oracular Spectacular.
Only two songs—“Time To Pretend” and “Kids”—from the EP overlap with the 2008 effort. Though most of Oracular Spectacular’s songs are dominated by Andrew VanWyngarden’s vocals, bandmate Ben Goldwasser’s voice is higher in the mix on these early recordings (though both musicians’ voices at times sound thinner). VanWyngarden’s impressive guitar skills also play a more dominant role than on Oracular Spectacular.
The band fully embraces new-wave and Bowie-inspired glam-rock on “Indie Rokkers,” while “Destrokk” barrages listeners with synthesizers and noise but lacks a true melody. Things slow down on the drum-heavy “Love Always Remains,” where the duo relies on vocal overdubs as well as auto-tune in order to create a roundabout effect, leaving the infectious chorus lingering in listeners’ heads. Video game sounds are featured throughout “Boogie Down".
So, while MGMT is in the process of recording a new album and road-testing fresh material, this re-release will tide over diehards still recovering from the band’s late-night Bonnaroo performance—at least until they come down.

This review can also be found at

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