Friday, March 26, 2010
After rapidly becoming one of the most hyped acts around thanks to their 2007 debut, Oracular Spectacular, MGMT is about to return with their sophomore release, Congratulations, on April 13. As part of the supporting tour, they'll make a Chicago stop with a show at the Riviera on Friday, June 18 (tickets are $29 and go on sale this Saturday, March 27, here).
Even though the record hasn't officially dropped yet, the band decided to stream it in its entirety on their Web site after it leaked online. Many blog reviews thus far have been less than kind (see write-ups on Obscure Sound and Consequence of Sound, for example), but to these ears the new material sounds much more compelling than that what was offered up on the hit breakthrough. Sure, it will probably be way too "1960s pysch-pop" for the mainstream and there's nothing nearly as commercially viable as "Time to Pretend," "Electric Feel," or "Kids," but overall it's an adventurous, melodic trip to another sonic planet that's pretty damn fun to take. Just listen to jolts of bizarro pop like "It's Working" and "Brian Eno" for proof. In the end, if you adored "Oracular Spectacular" you'll probably be at least somewhat disappointed with the band's change in direction. But if you found that record to be a bit bland at times, Congratulations just might give you a whole new respect for MGMT.