Photography by MaLize
Hello and happy Monday to ya dere! What a weekend, eh? Vinyl rips, cycling (two times!), photoshoots, A-HOLES, date night, oh man, all good times! But alas and aloo, it’s time to start our weekly cycle all over again and we kick it off with a rainy day and what may be the most disappointing or loved album of the year by 2007-2008 music fans, Congratulations by MGMT!
Major label Columbia Records must’ve been shit-faced happy when in 2007+ MGMT’s pair of songs “Time to Pretend” and “Kids” were fucking everywhere. Indie kids, their parents, and their golf buddies all loved those songs. I imagine there were a whole lot of m4a iTune purchases for those two highly danceable and highly bloggable and highly enjoyable songs. We fell in love with them too, or more specifically, “Kids”. That catchy little repeating whine and sweet beats was an “anytime song”.
But that was then and in the modern era, you gotta keep it going, the hype machine waits for no man. So here we are, twelve blog years later in 2010 and suddenly that album art you see above pops up on the intertubes. Worry and concern flies across the blogs! I think even that Hipster Runoff made a comment on it. Is it a video game? Is the new album brought to us by the good folks at Sega?
Before we had much time to answer our own questions (as we tend to do on the internet because we are all experts in this giant quasi-anonymous forum of super infohighway cyber love), out sprung “Flash Delerium” and fans across the world were suddenly covered in shit i.e. a collective “wtf” spead from California to the New York Islands… This was not “Kids II: The Wrath Of Khan”. What exactly was this??
I kinda liked it. As a song, regardless of the band attached to it, my ears enjoyed it. Fun, quirky, trippy, but still catchy. Nice combo, imo.
And then came the album. Suddenly the “wtf” became a “No, seriously, What. The. Fuck?” In a post-Passion-Pit hyped world, a world on the waning edge of the “chillwave movement”, many fans were left scratching their collective heads. Even down in our society opinions were torn, from “an utterly terrible album” to good album but nothing jumped out to “all I can say is that I really really like it”.
Dramatic sound shifts are difficult. Some of my favourite bands are shape shifters, from REM to Violent Femmes to Crash Test Dummies. More often than not, sound shifting scares fans away, leaving only the hardcore weirdos around to savour the flavour. People like evolutions of sounds, not revolutions or about-faces. Not everyone, of course, but your average fair-weather fan who falls deeply in love with Weezer’s “The Blue Album” & then rushes out to Peaches Music picks up Pinkerton the day it comes out, listens, confused, wondering what happened to their band. REM’s Up anyone? Or Monster? Or….
Now… time has many effects on many people and X number of releases later, people often look back to those about-face albums and see masterpieces or under-appreciated gems and whatnot. Will people, six years from now look at Congratulations and see a misunderstood masterpiece? No clue.
I will say this… I like the album, but I don’t have any emotional ties to Oracular Spectacular. It’s, much like the single, fun, trippy, quirky, & catchy, then end. Some songs lean more on one adjective than another, but to me it’s all good times!
So my suggestion…. Pretend this is not MGMT. Forget a band called MGMT even exists. Instead let’s pretend this is, say, Billy & His Magic Rainbow or something. Find yourself a good set of headphones, and just enjoy.
1. “It’s Working”
2. “Song for Dan Treacy”
3. “Someone’s Missing”
4. “Flash Delirium” (REMOVED: web sheriff & major labels don’t want people sharing even the free single they released? whatever)
5. “I Found a Whistle”
6. “Siberian Breaks”
7. “Brian Eno”
8. “Lady Dada’s Nightmare”