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

Dinosaur Jr: Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguwar)

Dinosaur Jr: Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguwar)

Any band which refined and defined their sound and attitude over three decades ago is bound to have hit a burn-out/overly familiar factor some many years ago. Surely?  But . . .... > Read more

Freaky Meat: Delicatessen (Bright Yellow Beetle Records)

Freaky Meat: Delicatessen (Bright Yellow Beetle Records)

On what has already been described as "one of the unlikeliest liaisons -- in a musical sense -- that you're ever likely to find" (John Brinkman, Groove Guide), Freaky Meat pull together... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE, a documentary on great buildings by VARIOUS FILMMAKERS (Madman DVD)

CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE, a documentary on great buildings by VARIOUS FILMMAKERS (Madman DVD)

Because architecture is the most public of all arts it has a powerful impact on the way we see and relate to our world: Architecture is the thoughtful making of spaces, we are told in this doco... > Read more

MAURICE SHADBOLT (1932 - 2004): Time will tell

MAURICE SHADBOLT (1932 - 2004): Time will tell

The legacy of authors is often uncertain. Popular works may fade into obscurity after their death; for others, their words may be elevated beyond the respect they commanded when they lived.... > Read more