Album: MGMT, Congratulations (Columbia)
Friday 09 April 2010
Like Scouting for Girls and Plan B, on Congratulations MGMT have taken a sudden left turn away from the route that secured their initial success, abandoning the psych-pop charms of Oracular Spectacular for a far deeper immersion in the murky waters of acid-head prog-rock.
It's a brave but foolhardy move, as is the replacement of their debut's producer Dave Fridmann – an expert at untangling strange arrangements into sleek songs – with Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember, once of Spacemen 3, whose talents presumably lie in a different direction entirely. The result is typified by the inaptly-titled opener "It's Working", a huge psychedelic soup of indistinct sounds and clashing sections, faults repeated on "Flash Delirium". "You can't get a grip if there's nothing to hold", they sing, perhaps unwittingly putting their finger on the album's greatest shortcoming. This tendency reaches its furthest extent on the disjointed 12 minutes of "Siberian Breaks", for which they barely bother to locate the thread that might hold the song's disparate wanderings together. Elsewhere, a faux-primitif tribute to the Television Personalities founder, "Song for Dan Treacy", suggests what The Libertines might sound like if they played organs instead of guitars, while the back-handed compliment to "Brian Eno" merely prompts the observation that if he had been involved, this wouldn't have been quite as shambolic.
Download this Someone's Missing
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food