“I hope I die before I get sold,” quips MGMT towards the end of Congratulations. It’s a clever one-liner, belied more than a little by the band’s gold-certified, Grammy-recognized stature. That it comes during the heavily anticipated follow-up to a wildly successful debut feels bitingly sarcastic. That it comes halfway through “Siberian Breaks”, however—Congratulations’ prog-inflected, marathon-length center
piece—seems eerily appropriate. The song is the logical culmination of the album’s defiantly anti-commercial tendencies; embodied here, in these fiercely psychedelic 12 minutes and 10 seconds, is its staunch refusal to cater to fan expectations what MGMT is, was, or should be.
Although it was an unusual move, there’s something noble about the way in which Klaxons reacted to Universal Records’ criticism of their proposed second album: they admitted the label was right. As bassist/falsetto man Jamie Reynolds fessed up to NME in March of last year, the dance-punk quartet had made “a really dense, psychedelic record,” and after meeting with the suits they came to realize it just wasn’t their forte. Whe
ther or not it was the right call remains to be heard — the fact that there’s still no release date on the thing might be a bad sign — but that’s not really the point. It’s just refreshing to hear that a successful pop band made the predictable attempt at grandiose Art, failed, and were willing to admit it before foisting their mistake on the rest of the world.
Best Track: It's Working, Flash Delirium, or Siberian Breaks
Worst Track: Brian Eno
Most Overrated Track: Song For Dan Treacy
Most Underrated Track: Someone's Missing
Neo-psychedelia from start to finish.
|# 11 -||American Songwriter|
|# 8 -||Billboard|
|# 28 -||DIY|
|# 3 -||MOJO|
|# 19 -||NME|
|# 39 -||One Thirty BPM|
|# 10 -||Q Magazine|
|# 26 -||Rhapsody SoundBoard|
|# 20 -||Spin|
|# 14 -||Spinner|
|# 33 -||Stereogum|
|# 37 -||Under the Radar|
|# 21 -||NPR Listeners (Mid Year)|