As appeared in the NDSU Spectrum
Review by Cydney Berlinger
After the 2010 release of “Congratulations,” MGMT effectively tore their fan base in two, one side being those begging for more of the groovy, electro-pop so evident on “Oracular Spectacular” and those who were up to seeing where MGMT could go. With their newest release of their self-titled album, there’s a margin for pleasing both factions, or disappointing both.
‘MGMT’ combines the experimentation from “Congratulations”, the synthy-bliss of “Oracular Spectacular” all combined with a hint of influence from Animal Collective. The first single, “Alien Days”, opens up the album with hidden pop sensibilities, ambient synths layered with acoustic guitar. One thing that hasn’t changed is lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden’s nonsense lyrics and charmingly detached delivery. “Alien Days” leads into groovy “Cool Song No. 2”; from there the album becomes a jungle of lamenting vocals, repetitive synths, and spacey guitar. VanWyngarden’s vocals take the lead in “Plenty of Girls in the Sea” the melancholy penultimate track to the album. The last track leaves the listener with “we’ll erode/as gently as we can/into twilight” ending with a wash of distorted guitar against wandering effected keys. As always, this electro-duo takes the road less traveled on ‘MGMT’ and leaves their fans, albeit confused, satisfied none-the-less.