MGMT (Columbia)

Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Nov. 8, 2013




On the sanity scale, MGMT's orbiting comfortably somewhere between Diamond Dogs-era David Bowie and Syd Barrett. Having committed commercial seppuku with 2010's Congratulations, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser attempt once more to redefine themselves on third LP MGMT with varying degrees of success. This is the sound of a high-minded band left to its own devices and with budget to spare. Psych oddity "Alien Days" opens on cloud nine, all riddles and reverb, and the album doesn't come back down until the after burn "An Orphan of Fortune" sets in. There are highlights: warped acid-pop ballad "Introspection," space aquatic "Plenty of Girls in the Sea," and "Mystery Disease," which explores the dark terror of manic depression with panning synths and a madcap beat that channels their Flaming Lips collaboration. MGMT's still reacting to the mainstream triumph of 2008's Oracular Spectacular, trying too hard to sound genuinely weird, as if determined to fail at any cost. (Sunday, 6:50pm, Orange stage)


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