Alternative rock act MGMT released its third album, a self-titled one, on Tuesday. On the 10-track LP, the band gets weirder and more far out than their past releases. To fans still waiting for the next “Kids” or “Time to Prentend,” there is none of that. Instead, the guys behind MGMT continue to explore more psychedelic sounds and pretty much do whatever the heck they want on this interesting release.
Since the release of their breakthrough album “Oracular Spectacular” in 2007, MGMT has been putting out music that gets more abstract with each album and this latest one continues the trend. Fans knew what to expect (or not expect) earlier this year with the release of lead single “Alien Days,” a deliciously trippy and mind-bending rock track. That is followed up with the appropriately-titled “Cool Song, No. 2.” The song goes bump in the night with Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser sounding like Oompa Loompas on acid. “If you think you're free like a kite / Watch it as it flies by,” they sing in a monotone voice. MGMT is certainly free-range throughout.
The only song with semblance to a coherent rhythm is the pop stomper “Plenty of Girls in the Sea.” Because of that it's also the album's best track. Spacey production still accompanies the breezy tune's heavy-hitting beat as VanWyngarden goes on about artistry. “Ah, the passionate painter will say with a brush:
'It's best to accept it and not make a fuss,'” he sings. A catchy MGMT doesn't come without a big message and the band drives it home here.
Aside from “Plenty,” the rest of “MGMT” follows the band's free-range aesthetic. On the cheery electro-rock track “Your Life is a Lie,” VanWyngarden counts the ways in which he considers some guy's life to be a complete sham. They also throw a cover on here, but even that is of some obscure '60s psychedelic track (Faine Jade's “Introspection”). It sounds at home on the weird album, though, and the MGMT really does it justice.
With their self-titled record, the guys of MGMT further alienate new listeners while giving longtime fans something new and interesting to hear. It might not be something a commercial audience wants to hear but that is what makes the band MGMT. VanWyngarden and Goldwasser aren't afraid to experiment and they take full advantage of that artistic freedom. They just happen to be doing all that under a worldwide scope.
Listen to "MGMT" on Spotify.com
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