If there’s one thing you can’t accuse MGMT of being it’s predictable. After 2008’s mega breakthrough ‘Oracular Spectacular’, you’d be right to expect the duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser to follow on from the huge success of ‘Time To Pretend’, ‘Electric Feel’ and ‘Kids’, with equally big, anthemic singles. Instead MGMT have delivered something completely different.
After your first listen of ‘Congratulations’ you’ll be confused, bemused and to be honest, a little disappointed. But don’t lose faith. Whilst MGMT might have moved away from the instantly accessible quirky pop songs that have so far been their bread and butter, slowly ‘Congralutaions’ will reveal its genius. Achieving the rarely met feat of sounding both contemporary and classic, tracks such as opener ‘It’s Working’ and ‘I Found A Whistle’ feel knowingly familiar and yet so refreshingly new.
Lead single, ‘Flash Delirium,’ is perhaps the only glimpse of the old MGMT, but even that is no where near as polished as it could be; the main melody whilst present, is never exhausted or over-used. Juxtaposed with ‘Siberian Breaks’; an epic 12 minutes progressive and mainly instrumental offering, featuring only a few tracks later, let’s be clear, this is not an album suited for commercial success. Yet ironically, if people are patient with it beyond a few listens they will find much to love; even the slightly too wacky, Mighty Boosh/ Flight of the Conchords feel of ‘Brian Eno’.
A wonderfully odd record that will keep unravelling itself with each listen. At a time when it would have been so easy to deliver more of the same and propel themselves towards much grander platforms, MGMT have proven they’re in it for more than fame, but actually the music. That, and that they might actually be mad. Pink Floyd for the iPod generation? Whether you agree or not, MGMT you have earned my respect. Delicious.