Album review: MGMT, MGMT (Columbia)


MGMT’s recent rant against the “commercial sensibility” of other bands shouldn’t be taken as an attempt to deflect charges of failing to repeat their own initial commercial flush. Arriving under a mission-statement eponym, Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden’s third album stretches the slippery psychedelia of 2010’s Congratulations beyond the point of any return to 2007’s festival-sized debut; it sometimes meanders like a wasted hipster at an Animal Collective after-show.

Yet it preserves enough presence of mind to yield gems such as the sing-song “Alien Days” or the deliquescent “Mystery Disease”, balancing acts of pop and perversity that suggest they could make another “Kids”, if only they didn’t have more scenic routes in mind.