BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

 |   |  1 min read

MGMT: The Youth
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

As regular visitors to Elsewhere are aware, not everything posted here is a work of unalloyed genius which will be treasured down many lifetimes. (Although there are however more than a few like that I would hope.)

But sometimes albums just come along that you are very glad to have heard and simply enjoy for what they mean to you on some odd subconscious level.

I suspect this one is like that for me -- although I note it has picked up some substantial reviews in Britain. Drowned in Sound called it "a blissful 40 minutes of high-end stereophonic joy", and NME said "you'll be hard pressed to find a record with more musical depth and warmth this year." The Alternative Press said simply "it's brilliant".

Well, that latter comment might be a little over-the-top, but these two guys from Connecticut -- Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser -- have delivered a very loveable debut which sways through pop and electronics, stacked up choruses, suggestions of surf music and glam rock, neo-psychedelic pop-rock, hints of 60s B-grade soundtracks and much more.

And they wrap it up within 10 songs (produced by Flaming Lips knob-twiddler Dave Fridmann) which are sunny and elevating, and remind me of the best but least known pre-psychedelic/ambitious pop albums of the mid to late 60s. And of course Flaming Lips, Polyphonic Spree at al.

There's a slightly cynical worldview at work but the lyrics are also shot through with optimism which is echoed in the chipper and clever arrangements.

I doubt MGMT will make it to too many people's collections but I can confidently say this, if this does you'll play a lot more than you might think. maybe even in years to come?

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Come Together, Black America sings Lennon and McCartney (Ace)

Various Artists: Come Together, Black America sings Lennon and McCartney (Ace)

Although their peers like the Rolling Stones, the Downliner Sect and Pretty Things were more profoundly influenced by black American music, the Beatles certainly drew on that deep well. In... > Read more

Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort (True North)

Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort (True North)

Bruce Cockburn – whose sole skirmish with chart success was Wondering Where The Lions Are in 1980 – is the Richard Thompson of Canada. And if you don't get the reference that's the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

HISTORY IN A HANDBAG: The Museum of Bags and Purses, Amsterdam

HISTORY IN A HANDBAG: The Museum of Bags and Purses, Amsterdam

Behind a rather ordinary door off a quiet canal-street in Amsterdam is one of the city's most extraordinary museums, and this in a city which isn't short of museums. From the... > Read more

Stuffed Paw-Paw, Norfolk Island style

Stuffed Paw-Paw, Norfolk Island style

Norfolk Island, just a 90 minute flight north west of Auckland, isn't a place you go for fine dining. Or so I was told. But if you are there Dino's and Garrison on the main street are excellent,... > Read more