MGMT - Congratulations Review
The first glimpse of spring breaks through the sky and a light breeze flutters the curtains next to my opened window, which has been firmly shut for the last 6 months due to the unrelenting winter we British have been suffering. I am lying on my sofa in denim shorts and a poncho. The Reading Festival line up is released within the week (the true start to my anticipation for summer) and I am listening to cool, clear psychedelia. Soft- voiced with smoothly strung guitar notes. A perfect soundtrack for a summer evening with the sun setting, a BBQ alight and a cider in hand... No one would have believed that MGMT’s new sound is this simple.
The first album delivered us epic singles like Kids, Electric Feel and Time to Pretend on the back of a giant cat (see Time to Pretend video). It was extraordinarily mind-numbing in a beautiful way, making you dance until your mind-wires crackle and fizz and producing lyrics that would make a poetry fanatic positively wee himself with excitement. Although, on seconds thoughts those words were more there to boggle our minds than to analyse like a piece of literature. However, when the release of Oracular Spectacular actually hit us, listeners were actually given an album full of songs by an artist whose inspiration had been burnt out by the hugeness of their crazily packed singles.
This new offering needs to be taken out of the fridge by the listener on their own accord. There are no silver trumpets and horns (or a giant cat for that matter) to announce the coming of Congratulations. The single Flash Delirium is simply not there for music no-nothings like Chris Moyles, as he pompously announces on his breakfast shown that MGMT have carelessly thrown their fame away with their new single. However, I disagree with Moyles. I am not claiming to be a music genius, I am just a listener but I feel that Congratulations offers us one of the most valued assets of humanity: Honesty. This is an asset which was missing from the first record. Soft surfer-style guitar notes flood the album with cool sea waters. The soft vocals are in tune with the songs the whole time. MGMT are no longer trying hard to “be different” here. There are no sharp synth sounds and ear-drum shattering high-pitched vocals. MGMT seem to have gone back to something that they enjoy doing: Soft psychedelia.
This album is not genius and it is not about to change anybody’s life, but you get the feeling that MGMT know that. Congratulations is definitely worth a listen. But, wait until the sun is out fully and you have time to just sit, relax and enjoy the sincerity that these two boys show on this album.
- Millie Corbould
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