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Album review: MGMT channels psychedelic sounds in self-titled album

arts_mgmtAfter a disappointing sophomore effort in “Congratulations,” psychedelic rockers MGMT find the same magic that made them a hit in its self-titled third album.

A widely experimental outing this time, there are a few misses in “MGMT:” notably the way too out there “I Love You Too, Death,” but most of the notes struck are much more pleasant.

The opening track, “Alien Days,” is one of the strongest offerings from “MGMT” and throws the listener instantly back to a different era, pulling an almost Pink Floydian style of sound mixing.

The first 40 seconds or so, lead by a young female vocalist, instantly draw the listener in before the album becomes classic MGMT throughout, mixing solid, moody vocals with psychedelic themes and sounds.

“Cool Song No. 2,” the album’s second track, lives up to its name, changing things up with a much heavier sound that still keeps in line with the tone put forth before by the band.

Many will be looking for the song that can follow up “Kids” as MGMT’s next Top 40 hit, and that may come in the shortest song on the album, “Your Life Is a Lie.”

Although running only 2:06, “Your Life Is a Lie” is very upbeat and poppy, perfectly combining simple lyrics with very distinct music that stands out from the rest of the album. Particularly, the cowbell and guitars standout from the very synth-heavy tracks that precede it.

Easily, though, the standout song is the second-to-last on the album, “Plenty of Girls In the Sea.”

Humorous lyrics (“There’s plenty of girls in the sea / And plenty of seeds in a lemon”), a bouncy beat under the whole of the track and a general happy feeling that comes when listening make it the highlight of the album.

MGMT again draws on Pink Floyd for influence, not to mention The Beatles (although it doesn’t quite reach those lofty heights) during their more psychedelic days, to make what is sure to be the song that stands the test of time for MGMT.

“MGMT” is a strong rebound effort from Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser that, although lagging a little in the middle, supplies fans with an acceptable follow-up to 2007’s “Oracular Spectacular.”

 

Grade: B+

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