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Congratulations
MGMT Congratulations
Released 13 April 2010
Producer Pete Kember, MGMT
Label Columbia
Length 43:53
Genre Psychedelic pop
Website www.whoismgmt.com
85

There is nothing quite like the weight of expectation. With 2008’s Oracular Spectacular, MGMT set the bar pretty high for themselves. Remember that this is a band who produced instant classics like 'Electric Feel' and 'Time to Pretend' on their debut. Then there was 'Kids' – an absolute behemoth of a song covered and sampled by bands such as The Kooks, Weezer and Chiddy Bang - showing the diversity of the audience their music is reaching. It’s fair to say there’s a bit of anticipation as to how MGMT will follow this up. Thankfully Congratulations delivers, though not in the way you might expect.

Surprisingly, the anthems have been ditched in favour of a more psychedelic feel. While this is an unexpected twist, it proves to be the making of Congratulations. This is a much more grown up sound, one that suggests they wish to create a legacy rather than make a quick buck. Their musical influences seem to have expanded also; throughout the album you hear little nuances that call to mind bands like Love and The Mamas & The Papas. Overtones of The Beach Boys are obvious in album opener 'It’s Working' and  lead single 'Flash Delirium'. Both are full of references, including the layered vocal harmonies and that irresistible surf rock beat perfected by Brian Wilson and co. 'Brian Eno', a tongue in cheek tribute to the legendary producer, has a punk sound that would not have sounded out of place on a Buzzcocks album.

The highlight of the album has to be 'Siberian Breaks'; a selection of eight different song ideas spliced together into one psychedelic trip -think Pink Floyd reimagining the Abbey Road 'Medley'. At a whopping twelve minutes long you might expect this track to drag in places, but it genuinely doesn’t. Each of the eight sections is timed to perfection and the transition from one idea to the next never feels forced, these songs were meant to go together.

If Oracular Spectacular is an album for Saturday nights, then Congratulations is the perfect album for a sunny Sunday afternoon. MGMT have managed to raise the bar again and expectations are already high to see what they will do next.

- Brian Kinsella