MGMT's new self-titled LP is their third, and it is truly an album of a band that is trying to cover it's tracks. The band is very well known for the singles Kids, Time To Pretend, and Electric Feel off of it's very good, debut album Oracular Spectacular, but if you ask MGMT about the songs they'll likely scoff and attempt to change the subject. It's this sense of defiance towards the bands old selves that really seems to be holding this album back. No doubt about it, there are still some very sold songs featured on the album (Alien Days, Mystery Disease, Your Life Is A Lie, Plenty Of Girls In The Sea), but even in those tracks you can still hear the distracting anti-pop undertones. This is not to say that the only way for MGMT to create a collection of successful songs is for them to go back to their old Oracular Spectacular roots, but, perhaps trying to not be overly psychedelic and experimental may be a start. Now before you get the impression that I am not in favor of this album or the band, I'll have you know that MGMT is one of my favorite groups and are one of the first bands that really allowed me to start obtaining a great care for music. So it just pains me to see a band with so much potential hold itself back.
Luckily, if you're also an MGMT fan, like myself, you'll still be able find the light in dark and see why there are still many reasons to like this album. First of all, you still have the freaky-ass synths that shine in both Oracular and Congradulations, which is also a miraculously underrated album. You still have Andrew and Ben's keen strive for narrative through each song, and we still have front man Andrew VanWyngarden's chilling lyrics. In the albums opening, and best track, drug themed Alien Days, which sounds like an acid trip in itself. VanWyngarden sings, "When the peels are down it feels like travel ing in style / You don't need wings to hover forty ton stones for a mile" the vocals are cushioned around large amounts of reverb and the ear-crunching synths as VanWyngarden explains that everything in life is open ended and should be experienced in several ways. A message concerning the state of MGMT? I guess that's for them to know and us to find out.