MGMT’s self-titled album takes one step further in giving the band a unique sound.
“MGMT” is by far the strangest album that the band has released to date.
The band’s first album, “Oracular Spectacular,” released in 2007, introduced the band with an indietronica music style with songs such as “Kids” and “Time to Pretend.”
These songs had a bit of a poppy undertone.
Three years later, MGMT’s second album, “Congratulations,” didn’t have quite the same pop vibe; however, it still burst with quirkiness and energy.
The first two albums set the feel for MGMT and fans have been waiting for the next installment of their relaxing, yet upbeat sound.
David Fridmann, who produced “Oracular Spectacular, also produced MGMT’s newest album, “MGMT.”
While the producer is the same, this album completely obliterates any hint of pop and goes full-blown indie.
The tracks on this album can best be described as paintings or poetry in the form of song lyrics and instrumentals.
This presents both positive and negative outcomes.
On one hand, after listening to the album time after time, one grows to appreciate the blending of the acoustics and the word choice of the lyrics. On the other hand, if someone just wants to get an idea of what the band is like as a whole and only listens to this album, they may be turned off.
The album’s opener, “Alien Days,” has an other-worldly sound – which makes sense with the title – before it is mixed in with the lyrics.
As the song continues, a ukulele is mixed in with the space-like instrumentals, which gives a feeling of sitting by a beach in space.
Other songs that bring about this sort of setting include “Astro-mancy” and “Cool Song No. 2” – although “Cool Song No. 2” begins sounding like it was produced with a Native-American tribe.
“Cool Song No. 2,” one of the band’s singles from this album, has somewhat ominous instrumentals, with bongo drum beats and instrumentals often heard in movie scenes that take place in the woods in the middle of the night.
The vocals only barely match up with the song.
While they are low-pitched, they also seem a bit too happy to be in a song such as this, and that is not cool.
The only song with any sort of verse-chorus-verse scheme is the penultimate song “Plenty of Girls in the Sea.”
Even that eventually trails off back into the normal pattern of the tracks on this album.
While this song may be easier for first-time listeners to hear, it also seems like a song that MGMT did not take too seriously during its production.
A good number of songs on this album have the same sort of psychedelic, artsy vibe that seems to accompany “MGMT.”
The songs are similar to paintings in the same way that staring at the same piece of art for minutes on end can help you understand and appreciate it.
It can also give listeners a headache.
Overall, although this album is very different from MGMT’s previous work and it can be difficult to get through and understand on the first listen, “MGMT” does well to showcase the band’s talent.
The songs are well written and well produced, despite their weird and obscure nature.
Only time, record sales and concert sales will tell whether the difference in the musical style of “MGMT” affects the band’s fanbase.