YDP line: This is a spectacular album, but if you like MGMT because of “Kids” or “Time to Pretend” you won’t find much of what you’re looking for. Remember all those songs in between on Orracular Spectacular? Yeah, that’s this album.
Given the timeline of MGMT’s rise to stardom (The Time to Pretend EP was released in 2005 and an early version of “Kids” appeared on a 2004 EP) its clear that, while they had fun writing songs like “Time to Pretend” and “Kids,” by the time Orracular Spectacularwas released their musical tastes had moved beyond the childishly simple (albeit wonderfully fun) to a more psychedelic late 60’s sound. Congratulations simply dives deeper into that sound. There are no poppy electronic singles on this album, but you will find a tight mix of great music.
There are no classic singles on this album, a very daring move given the mainstream success that the duo found with their first release. The track “I Found a Whistle” is perhaps the closest thing to a catchy single off this album and plays similarly to the slower music on Orracular Spectacular. My favorite track is the “Siberian Breaks” that seems like no fewer than 3 songs mashed together in one wandering ballad.
I applaud MGMT for trying to escape from the shadow of their debut, Orracular Spectacular. The runaway success of the album behind the three singles “Kids,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Electric Feel” could scare any band into thinking they needed to deliver more singles for the masses to keep everybody happy. In fact it seems as though MGMT is doing the exact opposite by letting everybody stream the whole album and eschewing the release of any singles (something I believe they would still do even if there were another “Kids” on here). Bravo.
Looking for influences, I believe Jefferson Airplane and The Peanut Butter Conspiracy are two bands that come to mind when breaking down Congratulations. Also, given what Van Wyngarden and Goldwasser have been saying about the album and the whole space-rock angle, I’m convinced that the 5th dimension’s single “Aquarius/Love Shine in” definitely played a part.
But really, this tracks sums up the overall feeling of Congratulations…hmm but maybe i’m reaching…
YDP gives Congratulations 4 Ascots / 5
For the next 3 weeks (until the album releases) you can stream MGMT’s album on their site.
looks like fun
If somebody asked me to list the greatest (current) music festivals in the United States, I’d probably give them the following five in no particular order: Virgin Festival, SXSW, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch! Music Festival, and Coachella. Given that I will not be attending 4/5 of these events, pardon me while I gush about the one I will.
Welcome to Coachella 2010. A three day music fest located in sunny Indio California. From April 16-18, for the price of $269, you can rock your socks off, shake your groove thing, dance like a maniac, or sway awkwardly from side to side. The choice is yours! Currently in its 11th year, the show is bringing a solid mix of rock/indie/electronic/classic/contemporary/mellow/upbeat moods to the sunny April weekend. But what’s so special?
sick graphics. it's in technicolor...bitches
Yeah, you heard me correctly. Old man Hova is cooking up some mighty collaborations on this epic album. Here’s to hoping it lives up to the hype…(it probably will)
Source (Pitchfork from Stereogum?)
Who wants to play Candyland with me?
YDP attended the MGMT concert last night planning on some Electric Feel and Kids but not much else. The Prospect Park Bandshell was hopping with roughly a 45/55 hipster to yuppie ratio and it was a perfect night. There were even fireworks and an impromptu Jimi Hendrix style rendition of “Star Spangled Banner.”
YDP was very impressed by their new music which showed musical growth and some new Southern Rock and Rock and Roll influences. Musically they were very tight and it translated to a live show much better than expected. They even played some ballads. Electric Feel killed it and showed some interesting improvisations on the original.
The one disappointment of the night? Kids.
Like last time I saw them at the Bowery Ballroom, they put on an ipod for the background and sung the words. Unlike last time, the whole band was up there playing random instruments in a way that detracted from the song. Their disdain for the playing that song was clear from the rest of the band joking around to the attitude of the singing.
So while YDP was impressed by the musical growth and range that MGMT showed, they either need to compose some new renditions of Kids or at least take it seriously. I can understand them being tired of playing that song but its the reason why they were able to sell out the Bandshell. They also had a great crowd that was really enthusiastic and receptive to their new music so if anything Kids allows them to expose people to their new songs.
Till next time…
"Why are my jeans so tight?"