MGMT Returns with New Acclaimed Album

Chris Stem, Reporter

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Little Dark Age’s album art

    MGMT released their first album in five years, shattering expectations.

To explain the reception and performance of the album a brief context is necessary. MGMT is a duo from Connecticut that had a trio of immensely popular singles on their 2007 debut album “Oracular Spectacular.”

After being signed to Columbia Records and becoming so popular, it seemed the duo was headed for success. Unexpectedly, the band decided to deviate from the basic pop sound on their first album, experimenting more and delving into new territory on their second album “Congratulations.”

This negatively affected the album’s sales and confused their audience, but overall the album was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. The duo seemed resistant to writing basic chart topping pop, opting for more complexity, even if it meant sacrificing some of their success.

Band members Ben Goldwasser (left) and Andrew VanWyngarden (right)

     The trend of experimentation and lowered sales continued with their third album in 2013, titled “MGMT.”

The album continued to divide and distance fans with unconventional songwriting and odd stylistic choices. For the most part, the album was received poorly and panned by critics and audiences alike. The band would then go on a hiatus, not releasing any new material until the singles leading up to this 2018 album.

The duo’s fourth 2018 album “Little Dark Age” retraces their pop origins, but through the sound of another decade. The album is heavily inspired by 1980’s synth music and has received universal critical acclaim. It has a modern sense of humor and production style, coexisting with with the very throwback 80s sound. The album contains some dark and tongue in cheek lyrics, that contrast with its peppy and upbeat sound. Many of the lyrics discuss modern themes that are very relevant today, such as the song “TSLAMP” that stands for Time Spent Looking At My Phone, a critique on modern phone addiction. “Little Dark Age” also contains a large musical palate, using a variety of instruments synthesizers and effects. MGMT may have struggled to stay relevant in the music industry, but the very positive reception this album has received shows the start of a new era for the band. The album is available digitally and physically and can be either casually listened to with its forty minute run time and energetic sound.  

 

Check out the first song from the album on YouTube, “She Works Out Too much.”

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