AOTY 2023


Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2013 Ratings: #1023 / 1115
User Score
Based on 788 ratings
2013 Ratings: #458
Liked by 43 people
September 17, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
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It's an immaculate full-length that shows growth and maturity in songwriting and sound, with adult themes cleverly masked by playful sonics that evoke the innocence of childhood.


Although it's clear that their infectious, single-heavy debut was no accident, the more experimental aspect of MGMT seems to be their dominant side.


In a world where bands exist merely to bag the next phone ad soundtrack, the guts and wild abandon of the pair’s singular, foolhardy vision is rare indeed.


On one hand, they seem able to produce easily digestible fuzzy pop songs slightly reminiscent of soft rock with what appears to be consummate ease; on the other, they can enter into all manner of sonic digressions with a noteworthy lightness of touch.

The 405

Not many other bands in their position could get away with an album like this; they've reached the stage where going back to writing straightforward songs would seem like a serious retrograde step. More power to them.


For all of their talk of going off the deep end, MGMT ultimately takes on a less flattering image, of a band wading in the indie mainstream.


The result, a self-titled rebirth following a hiatus, is a bit of a mess. Still, it’s a thrillingly inventive and uncompromisingly colorful mess, and isn’t that the best kind of mess?

The Line of Best Fit

Dense, uneasy psychedelia dominates, and although this isn’t a product of wilfully inaccessible experimentation, neither does it contain much in the way of instant melodies and conventional song structures.

Pretty Much Amazing

On MGMT the band has aimed for a modern day equivalent of a cross between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper, but they’ve produced the psych-rock equivalent of Oasis’s Be Here Now – an impenetrable, overwrought, hit-and-miss product marred by ego. 

Consequence of Sound

The record’s thick textures feel like canvases that have been painted over too many times, and its genre excursions have had the life practiced out of them. A looser take on MGMT would likely have been a rousing success.

No Ripcord

What’s disheartening about MGMT is that even if they disapprove of their earlier pop songs, their structureless compositions still operate within a high level of artful accessibility.

Slant Magazine

The swampy, claustrophobic MGMT is never as interesting or smart as the crowd-pleasing sing-alongs on Oracular Spectacular.


On their third and eponymously titled album, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden don't notice a lot of things, including their lack of hooks or any sort of identity. 

Tiny Mix Tapes

Whereas Congratulations was almost impenetrably dense with melody and progression, the material on MGMT is stripped down to an absolute dearth of ideas.


Here's the deal(crash)
Open your eyes(crash)
This album's alright(crash)
There are some good songs(crash)
Like alien days(crash)
And Life is a lie(crash)
This album's alright
But there are some flaws(crash)
it feels underbaked(crash)
At certain times(crash)
Like introspection(crash)
Or Astro-mancy(crash)
It's really alright(crash)
This album's alright(68/100)


Magical Guys Making Tunes

Okay huh. I think this one is a bit over hated. It’s definitely not their best work but I have to say I really enjoyed some moments on here. This album might be their most psychedelic to date, possibly besides Congratulations. There are some very cool atmospheres on here that really suck me in. Alien Days is a really great opener, really catchy and there’s a lot of cool effects. An Orphan of Fortune is a super weird yet captivating closer. I Love You Too, ... read more


So... people aren't gonna get too mad if I said that this is my least favourite MGMT record, right?

Yeah, wow. Either they tried too hard or not at all with this. Andrew and Ben already alienated their entire fanbase with Congraultions three years prior, so what did they do to try and appeal to the mainstream without giving up the cool ideas they had on their sophomore album? Well, they didn't actually do anything, they just doubled down on the weirdness tenfold. Actually, hundredfold would be ... read more


Out of every MGMT record I’ve listened to, (Oracular Spectacular, Little Dark Age, and this) this is by far the best one. Little Dark Age is ok, and I can barely get through Oracular Spectacular, but this had such a good vibe and I can’t really say anything bad about it.


This album is so vibe heavy its incredible. I know many call this the worst album they put out, but I will defend this album till the day. I Love You Too, Death is beautiful example of title wordplay and the environment is other-worldly, growing more intense as the song progresses, Your Life Is A Lie is a harrowing mid point of the album, Cool Song No 2 is one of my absolute favorites with some of the most diverse production on the album, etc, this album is full of great somber, yet heavy ... read more


I'm gonna say it: People mostly hate this album cause it wasn't Congratulations 2, which they would eventually get with LDA. As a completely removed piece of music to stand on its own, this album is kind of a jam. MGMT are out here in the spotlight distorting their sound and mixing it crispy as hell long before anyone else of their popularity was really doing it. It just happens to be a sound that doesn't right for everyone.
Now I'm not going to say this album is a 10/10, some songs on here do ... read more

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Added on: April 22, 2013