April 8, 2010

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MGMT, Congratulations
Sony Records, April 13

Second LP from the Brooklyn duo, who, if they weren’t so unassumingly slacker-harmless, would be due some guff for their recent Oasis-like crazy talk (specifically their refusal to spring any singles from this album, because it’s a stick-with-the-flow thing, see, but at the same time not a concept album, or some such — we get it, click “Buy All MP3s”). Congratulations is more subdued than Oracular Spectacular, the 2007 two-hit wonder (there’s the Oasis thing again) whose “Kids” and “Time to Pretend” watermarked every TV and movie soundtrack made until now. Spacemen 3 co-founder Peter Kember was MGMT’s producer-guru for this LP, which actually works in its favor — OK Go has the loud, brazen super-garage-band market cornered this year, leaving these guys dibs on the demographic of neo-beatniks more genetically disposed to Interpol.

Whatever. What this spells is Klaxons-ized Gorillaz on a Beatles bender, a breed of uncomplicated, soft-spoken, often melancholy weird-mood music that can be breathtaking at times (the close of “Someone’s Missing” is big-radio 60s-pop straight out of Mamas and Papas) and borderline Mario Brothers-cheesy at others (“Flash Delirium” starts out all give-me-back-that-Filet-O-Fish but quickly bursts into yet more undeniably great pop-righteousness). This may look slightly familiar, but there’s way more ’60s-worship than LCD Soundsystem would ever dream of trying, and for this the Grammy goes to… AEric W. Saeger