Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Album Review: MGMT - Congratulations



It’s hard for me to listen to the new MGMT album Congratulations and not think of it as a giant “fuck you” to the music industry’s “powers that be”. I think in that sense, the album is a complete success. Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden were thrust into indie-rock superstardom for their fantastic debut release Oracular Spectacular. The album was shockingly good for a debut, but to say their live show was sub-par is perhaps giving them too much credit. Their highly anticipated sophomore release Congratulations is pretty much a mess. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but it’s hard not to with a cover as ridiculous as this one. Moving on, the album opens up with “It’s Working”, one of the few decent songs. It’s heavily layered with strings and a vocal workout that I really picture VanWyngarden pulling off live. That being said, it is quite catchy and the shifts in tempo give it a nice complexity. “Someone’s Missing” finds the boys singing a weird accented whisper which for the life of me, I can not place. The accent is so absurd that it renders the song practically un-listenable. MGMT continues on with their strange obsession with un-placeable accents on “Flash Delirium”. Luckily, the incorporation of so many different musical styles saves this song. MGMT travel from synth-heavy pop, to new wave chanting, to trippy ‘70s style psychedelia (thanks to a quick flute interlude), all with surprising success. The boys ironically nod to the king of ambient music on “Brian Eno”, a song that never attempts to embody anything the man came to represent musically. Congratulations does finish strong with its title track “Congratulations”, perhaps the only serious attempt at writing a good song. The lyrics basically describe the band’s super-fast foray into success over strummed acoustic guitars. I’m still under the impression that MGMT released this album as a statement more than anything. They probably know it blows, but they also know that it will get good reviews regardless. It’s the Dave Chappelle situation all over again. The comedian could have written the shittiest jokes ever and his producers would have laughed. While Chappelle opted to run rather than compromise his integrity, MGMT has chosen the other path. It takes serious talent to make an album as ridiculous as Congratulations, and for that, I applaud them.

2 comments:

WEB SHERIFF said...

WEB SHERIFF
Who You Gonna Call
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
www.websheriff.com

Hi Back in 15 Minutes,

On behalf of Columbia Records and MGMT many thanks for plugging "Congratulations" on your site (street date 13th April) ... .. thanks, also, on behalf of the label, management and artist for not posting any pirate links to unreleased (studio) material and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, then a full length version of "Flash Delirium" is available for fans and bloggers to link to / post / host etc at www.whoismgmt.com/ ... .. for further details of the new album, on-line promotions, videos and 2010 shows, check-out the official site, as well as the artist's MySpace at www.myspace.com/mgmt and YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/mgmtmusic ... .. and keep an eye on these official sources for details of further news, preview material and on-line promotions.

Also and as a goodwill gesture to fans and bloggers, an exclusive preview stream of the full album is currently available via the band’s website at www.whoismgmt.com ... .. this is for hyper-linking ONLY and for streaming by fans directly off the band’s official website, so please reciprocate this goodwill gesture by NOT ripping or embedding these files.

Thanks again for your plug.

Regards,

WEB SHERIFF

依政琦萍 said...

great msg for me, thanks a lot dude˙﹏˙