MGMT - Little Dark Age
Oct 29, 2020
86
900 followers. I do not have words to properly describe how incredibly thankful I am for every single person who has followed me, liked my reviews, or supported me in any way. It's truly amazing that I'm now nearing 1,000 followers, as that goal would have seemed impossible just 6 months ago. This website has helped me make new friends and expand my musical horizons to levels I would have never expected, and it's improved my life a lot by having such a fun hobby. Again, thank you to everyone, and now here is the review:

Little Dark Age by MGMT, which was released over 2 years ago, is sadly still very relevant today. The name is mostly a reference to the time period it was made during (largely around the 2016 election), and now with another election coming up the album's theme has seen a resurgence in relevancy. The record is full of political statements and commentary about the election, police shootings, suicide, and even religion. Yeah... this album is lyrically very heavy, and I can see how that could be a turn off for some listeners.

Now, why did I choose to review this record for my 900 followers celebration? Well, if you have been keeping track with some of my reviews you may know that the three bands who originally got me into music are: Radiohead, Cage The Elephant, and of course MGMT. In fact, I started getting into music around the time that this album was released- which technically makes it one of the first albums I ever listened to. If you are interested, for 1,000 followers I will be reviewing the first album I ever reviewed on this website (the original review is gone though, so no spoilers!) Anyway, back to the record.

Little Dark Age is fantastic. It's a modern commentary on society that will likely stay relevant for a long time, accompanied by some of MGMT's best instrumentals and ideas. It was a long 5-year break in between MGMT's self-titled and this record, which many expected to be much different than it was. The album before this, which was their self titled, was full of very experimental and psychedelic sounds (significantly more than this record). Although this is MGMT's worst-rated record, I'd argue it's their most interesting. Anyways, back to Little Dark Age:

LDA is significantly more pop-influenced and inspired than almost anything MGMT has done before (obviously excluding the 3 massive singles that started their career). Some songs, such as the title track "Little Dark Age" have incredibly catchy choruses, getting stuck in your head like some kind of glue. Combine this with Ben's wonderful synths and beautiful guitar playing by Andrew, and you have yourself a track to be remembered. This album contains (at least for me) no misses, each song hits in a very special and unique way.

LDA is full of influences, from The Cure to Pink Floyd, allowing for the record to have a very memorable and almost recognizable sound. Much of this comes from the obvious 80's influence, mostly in the instrumentals. The sound of this record is quite timeless. I will now be going through a few of my favorite tracks in some detail, but I won't be doing a track-by-track review of each one. Here's a few I wanted to write about:

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-The title track "Little Dark Age" is easily one of the best songs the album has to offer. It's catchy chorus, the 80s sounding instrumental, theme-pushing lyrics all come together to form a fantastic and memorable song, well worthy of being the title track.

-"When You Die" is another fantastic psychedelic hit. I'd mark this as easily one of the most psychedelic songs on the album, from the druggy instrumental to the abstract lyrics, the track takes you into a world of its own and doesn't let go. A large standout for the record, and one of my most revisited tracks.

"TSLAMP" (Time spent looking at my phone) is a lyrically interesting track regarding how much time is often spent on one's phone, lacking interaction with the 'real' world. Andrew has said in the past that he believes online social media is a negative factor and isolates people more, rather than allowing impossible friendships to become possible. Another fantastic track.

-"Days That Got Away" is one of my favorite tracks from the record. I am a massive fan of MGMT's instrumental work, as the track "Lady Dada's Nightmare" from Congratulations is entirely instrumental and one of my favorite songs of all-time. This track is no exception, as it is the perfect essence of psychedelic instrumental bliss.

"One Thing Left To Try" is a track about clinging onto life, believing that the only way out may be suicide. This is a positive track, a change for the narrator, as they finally seem to be moving forward. This is displayed with lyrics such as, "Today I left those thoughts behind." This seems to be an important song for the narrator... the choice they have to make: to change themselves, or inevitably die.

"When Your Small" is another favorite of mine. A bit reminiscent of some of their earlier works, this psychedelic track has some of the band's best lyrical content. Are the metaphors relatively simple? Sure. This isn't a bad thing though, in fact, I believe it makes the message significantly stronger. The song has multiple interpretations, although the one I go to most is popularity. There are many lyrics containing information about both the negatives and positives of being "high" which could be interpreted as being literally high on drugs, having a large ego, being popular, and more.
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Little Dark Age is not MGMT's best record, by a landslide. A bit of a 'hot take' but I would probably say this album is the band's least interesting record. I'm sorry, but I am just simply a much bigger fan of their more psychedelic and experimental work- don't get me wrong though, this album is still amazing, but it's not quite another "Congratulations." If you haven't already, go check that album out. Many consider it (including me) to be MGMT's best record by a landslide, although critics seem to disagree. Give it a listen for yourself!

------------------------------ORIGINAL REVIEW------------------------------
Although not MGMT's best work, this is a very great sounding album. I absolutely love the sound and style, but I wish MGMT had focused a bit more on psychedelics. One of my favorite songs from this LP is "Days That Got Away" an amazing instrumental which shows how beautifully psychedelic MGMT can be. The lyrics of this album are, as always, very detailed and interesting. For me there isn't exactly a single song here I do not like.
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-----------------------------COVER ART REVIEW-----------------------------
-Cover Art: (95/100)
I love this cover art so much, I even have it on a shirt!
MGMT has always had some pretty great album art, and this one is absolutely no exception. Follows the theme and feel of the sound and lyrics of the record extremely well, while also looking quite visually pleasing. I like the art style a lot, the placement of everything, the text, etc. It's just a really great album cover.
Also, I'm actually not that huge of a fan of the color yellow but I believe it works extremely well here.
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P.S. GO FUCK YOURSELF! (Just joking... unless...?)
6 Comments
Oct 29, 2020
Congratulations! Great review
Oct 29, 2020
@RickSalix Thank you so much! :)
Oct 29, 2020
Congratulations on 900 followers and excellent review!
Oct 29, 2020
@elextranodpl Thank you!! I am glad you liked it
Oct 30, 2020
Congrats man! Funny thing is that MGMT was also kind of an entry point into the music world for me, so it's nice to see other people enjoying their stuff
Oct 30, 2020
@lilchefremy Thank you! Yeah MGMT was really important for me, they are a really great band. I think they are a pretty good entry band as well :)
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