MGMT are one of the most engaging pop bands of the last decade… No, that’s not followed by, ‘Discuss.’ It’s a big, fat, immutable statement.
There are those, of course, who were disappointed after the anthemic mega-hits of Oracular Spectacular to be greeted with the less immediately accessible (masterpiece) Congratulations. This was followed by the potentially even less accessible – whatever the fuck that means – Optimizer. You may be able to tell from my sycophantic tone that I am a fan of this band.
Hence my eager anticipation in awaiting their most recent record, Little Dark Age. Those pesky artists, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, left a torturous five year gap before releasing this recent record. Some of us, in the aforementioned chasm, just got on with our lives. Others mourned. Howsoever you spent your time in pop purgatory, you need wait no more – MGMT have produced something of stunning quality.
Little Dark Age stands out in several ways. It is, like everything they’ve ever released, replete with evocative, image-laden, and heart-wrenching lyrics. ‘I grieve in stereo, the stereo sounds strange,’ from the title track, springs to mind. However, what really distinguishes this record is the scintillating production. It negotiates a tricky tightrope between a ‘contemporary’ sound involving synths, drum machines and whatnot (not that these are frontier mediums by an means…), and a subtle, almost nostalgically textured soundscape, the latter best exemplified in ‘Me and Michael’ – almost an 80’s throwback.
Tracks to look out for: ‘She Works Out Too Much,’ ‘Little Dark,’ ‘Me and Michael,’ ‘One Thing Left To Try,’ ‘Hand It Over.’ But let’s be honest, listen to it all you lazy bastards. And then listen to it again. It’ll stimulate your every sense, I guarantee.