Oh how the mighty fall, well at least stumble. MGMT helped usher in a wave of good and not-so-good electro-pop. With a handful of singles, MGMT permeated pop culture in 2008-09. Kids and Time to Pretend showed up not only in every hipster's party mix, but in teen dramas like Gossip Girl, clothing store soundtracks, and commercials. French President Nicolas Sarkozy illegally puts Kids in some of his videos and played it at rallies and had to copyright infringement. (This happened as he was trying to pass a law to deny Internet access to file-sharers)
The point is that MGMT was one-hot-hit-making machine. Everyone was salivating for the next round of pop hits to accompany the kissing scene for their teen vampire show or sell their Bar-B-Que sauce or to play in the background to convince the young kids that they are still hip. But that didn't happen.
Instead, MGMT put out a record with no singles, no electro-pop, and nothing that sounds like the two songs that everyone knows. Ad-men and suburban teenagers everywhere moved on to tow-headed teen boys that sing like Stevie Wonder.
The record isn't bad at all. Congratulations isn't the wonder-child album that Oracular Spectacular is. It's much more rock and roll and pulls from old psych-pop and maybe some geek rock from the 80s.
The problem here is that MGMT is MGMT. If this record was released by an unknown group called MGNT or MGNR, the album would have been consumed in a completely different way. Congratulations is being panned for being inaccessible and pretentious, which may be true, but it is mainly being panned for not being Kids or Time to Pretend.
I want to talk about the video, but it is forgettable. The duo has shed their wild and colorful rag-tag outfits for tight jeans, Buddy Holly glasses, and plaid shits. For being a psych-pop song, this video is surprisingly strait-laced. Magical IKEA furniture that dispenses pink ice cream, contains a dollhouse and an angel ballerina sounds like it was dreamed up by a committee of the suburban teens that watch the vampire show. Oh I get it...it was all a dream. Yawn.
If you are bored you can count the excessive number of dashes I used to this post, I will send you a psychedelic unicorn that poops pink ice cream.