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 at Elsewhere articles index

Gillian Welch; Boots No 1, The Official Revival Bootleg (Acony/Southbound)

Gillian Welch; Boots No 1, The Official Revival Bootleg (Acony/Southbound)

The numerical nature of this double CDs title whets the appetite for those who have followed the intense and interesting career of this Americana artist (and her musical partner Dave Rawlings).... > Read more

Cassette: The Jingle King (Paydirt)

Cassette: The Jingle King (Paydirt)

Alt.rockers Cassette from Wellington have pinned with tag "country loving" or "country rock" in some quarters and while that is fair, the definitions need some clarification:... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ROUTE 66 REVISITED (2019): On the road again . . . and again

ROUTE 66 REVISITED (2019): On the road again . . . and again

Route 66 has been covered by everyone from Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones to big band jazz groups and bar bands everywhere. It's a rock'n'roll standard largely because of Berry's version so... > Read more

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

Hossam Ramzy, who has a home in England and an apartment in Cairo, is a hard man to pin down. The first call is to the British office where the Egyptian composer and percussionist is... > Read more