Congratulations (Columbia)

Phases & Stages


Congratulations (Columbia)

"I see the signs of aging," declares Congratulations opener "It's Working," and what follows is an awkward, though at times still exciting, adolescence: gangly and confused. MGMT's sophomore outing seems as intent on confounding the Brooklyn duo's actual success as infectious disco-glam debut Oracular Spectacular was at snarking a slacker vision of stardom. Spaceman 3's Sonic Boom as producer delves headlong into a psychedelic crevasse without a hook to hang from, the album overly packed with ambitious arrangements that never quite congeal. "Flash Delirium" disintegrates into a contorted, manic mess, topped by the 12-minute obfuscated opus "Siberian Breaks." Better are the amusing turns of influence "Song for Dan Treacy" and "Brian Eno" and the closing title track's charming calm. Credit MGMT for refusing to rest on its major-label laurels, but directionless experimentation proves no substitute.


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