MGMT

Congratulations

It’s almost impossible to diss MGMT. Since laying ears on the buoyant opening chords of their 2007 major label debut, Oracular Spectacular, I’ve been transfixed by their synthy beats, wacky disco-pop nostalgia, and catchy use of children’s choirs … you know, for dramatic effect. I’ve also been silently acknowledging how impossible an act that disc would be to follow. On Congratulations, the Brooklynites’ long-buzzed-about sophomore effort, we get almost no over-the-top dance beats. In their place stands a more detail-oriented version of MGMT, and the result is surprisingly successful. Lead track “It’s Happening” is an avant-pop ballad that calls to mind prog-rock wizards Twelfth Night. Later, the guys get all gothic on the ska-tinged “Brian Eno,” and then follow it up with “Lady Dada’s Nightmare,” which sounds like it came off the Cremaster Cycle soundtrack. Sure, new MGMT might not be as jukebox-friendly as its predecessor, but it’s weird enough to keep us listening anyway.

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