> > Sep 13 2013

By Duncan BoydIt's telling that MGMT's third full-length album is their first to be given an eponymous title. The band managed to snag major label attention with their early, inescapably catchy tracks like "Kids" and "Electric Feel." Yet mainstream appeal was apparently never MGMT's original, nor sole, intention. Feeling they had something to prove to the art world, they followed up their major label debut with Congratulations, an album steeped in weirdo psychedelia and completely stripped of any trace of mainstream pop. Now, having gained an audience with Oracular Spectacular and proving their artistic merit with Congratulations, Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser have grown comfortable and confident enough to present us with music that stems solely from being themselves. On MGMT, we hear nothing but their bizarre minds, uninhibited by any need for label attention or artistic recognition. The tracks on MGMT are stacked with layer upon layer of different sounds, as if any and all ideas were thrown freely into the mix. On "Alien Days" and "Mystery Disease," a combination of dark electronics and psychedelic, Syd Barrett-style vocal melodies find the duo heading deep into a strange musical abyss. However, the chaotic mash-up of instruments and electronics somehow manages to cohesively come together as a dark, psychedelic whirlpool of ideas. Though it features no straightforward pop songs, MGMT finds VanWyngarden and Goldwasser having a great deal of fun creating exactly the kind of eclectic, weird music they want to.

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