Posted by: Ryan Allen on February 28, 2008 at 5:00 pm

MGMT, Oracular Spectacular (Columbia, 2007)

Listen: “Electric Feel”

Once, Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann kidnapped the cast of “High School Musical,” force-fed them obscure disco records, made them watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on repeat, had David Bowie visit them for a week, and then sent them into the recording studio to make a record.

In the highly suspect treatment for a “High School” spinoff above, the group might squeeze out an album that sounds a shitload like the debut of freaks of nature MGMT. The Brooklyn-based outfit’s just starting to pick up steam (they were recently added to the 2008 Bonaroo lineup), and are already causing descent on the blogs, with some critics bashing them for reasons we’re not really clear on. Apparently they suck live. Us? We’ve never seen MGMT live, and since this is an album review, we’re happy to say that we’re stoked on the band’s mishmash of genres.

Anybody with a laptop can get crazy with a couple of decent keyboards, some guitars, and an alright record collection, but not everybody can pull it off with panache. MGMT does. Whether they’re tossing off melodic, tongue-in-cheek send-ups of life as a rock star (“Time to Pretend,” featuring the awesome line “Yeah it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do? Get jobs in offices and get up for the morning commute?”), besting Beck on the dangerously funky “Electric Feel” or staying traditionally Stones-y (the surprisingly soulful “Pieces of What”), MGMT know how to keep you wondering what kind of drugs they might be on as well as where they might be purchased. And here’s the cool part: they do this with a nonchalance that puts their peers to shame.

Who knows. If the dudes in MGMT are really lucky, “High School Musical 3” might just be looking for a cameo by a couple of costumed rockers whose heads and pockets are stuffed with psychedelics and pop taste. Here’s hoping. — Ryan Allen

[tags]MGMT, High School Music, Oracular Spectacular, Dave Fridmann, Beck, David Bowie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat[/tags]


No Responses to “Hit ‘LOVE’ Key: MGMT, Oracular Spectacular”

  1. Jordan on February 28th, 2008 9:04 pm

    Such a great album. Who cares if they can’t perform that well live! Just bring your iPod and start the songs in sync with the band ;) .

  2. Scotter on March 1st, 2008 4:57 pm

    I saw them with the Fiery Furnaces at the Magic Stick in December and thought they played well. In fact, the only criticism I had of the show was that they played so well that the concert sounded just like the album.

    Perhaps the bloggers are “dissenting” for the perennial reason for their dissent: The band is signed to major label.

    Wasn’t Detour at that Fiery Furnaces show?

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