The UK's Q Magazine published an interview with drug poppers MGMT in its Dec '09 issue. It was a standard fluff piece with the boys discussing recording, drugs and how on the new album they're just going to go for it and make it less accessible...my heroes.
Not so fast though. The interview did drop just enough information to lead any sane appreciator of their wonderful debut to know that (if they follow the track they're on now), we should be expecting a classic sophomore slump. Q Magazine might not be able to say that (it's a corporate buddy-buddy thing, you understand), but luckily, the Albuquerque Indie Music Examiner has no friends!
Here's the warning signs:
- Ok, first off it's nowhere near being done. According to the article, the house they rented to record in for six month only yielded something like 3 songs. Terrible, just terrible. One of the two idiots supposedly spent too much time surfing to get anything done. SURFING! Do your jobs boys, you're being paid well enough. This brings us to the next problem.
- Pete Kember (aka "Sonic Boom" of Spacemen 3, Spectrum) was originally brought on to produce the album, which was a brilliant choice. Kember's own albums are often minimalistic, melodic, and beautiful. But now, from the sounds of it, he's out after the six-month debacle. They blew it, capiche?
- Ok, here's another one: MGMT is saying that they want the album to incorporate their live band and that it sounds more like their live show rather than an electro-dance spectacle. News flash: MGMT sucks live. Have you seen them? Five guys in t-shirts and ripped jeans, terrible tones, muddy sounds and NO SOUL! Letting those other three guys into any band would ruin them, and MGMT is no exception. Not only should they not be incorporated into the recording process, they should be shot and left for dead in an alley in Copenhagen. MGMT is not a good "rock" band (for a great one, see BRMC, on tour this spring) and why they want to throw their grungy fish into that large pond is absolutely baffling.
- The album's supposed to be more experimental with no "hits." This would sound like a cool idea, except when coupled with that previous comment. 'Nuff said.
- Less mysticism, more "real" life! The lyrics are now supposed to be about the guys' lives and personal experiences. This is an awful idea. Their lives now consist of surfing, dating actresses (like Kirsten Dunst), being well-liked, super-rich and E-tarded. They should stick with the pseudo-philosophical mysticism. They obviously haven't been famous long enough to realize how empty it is, so unless they're going to write some dumb/catchy party songs (doesn't sound likely, see above) get ready for some lyrical boredom.
- In all fairness, one of the guys did joke that the album will be "terrible" or "horrible" or something along those lines. Hipsters. Unfortunately it looks like the quality of the album will be what's ironic, and not that statement about it.
That's pretty much it. MGMT's full-length debut was great and so was the We (Don't) Care EP. I used to have high hopes for this record, but they have been totally dashed by the band's current progress and plans. Maybe, like Iggy and the Stooges, MGMT just isn't smart enough to know what's good about their own music. Someone needs to tell them to change course before they waste everyone's time and/or money. Better put on those wishing caps though, because at this point, that might take a Christmas miracle.