Mini-Review: MGMT’s “Congratulations”

MGMT’s sophomore album, “Congratulations” came out today and some people already hate it. MGMT has a very unique, non-commercial sound to them, despite having a couple of radio friendly hits. (For example, their song “Kids” was on our playlist when I worked at Old Navy a couple summers ago). People who expected this kind of music were sadly disappointed. Having listened to most of MGMT’s other songs, I had a better idea what to expect. While I enjoy the band’s work, I wouldn’t say I’m in love with everything they come up with. Because their style is so unconventional, a lot of it is just too weird for me to listen to. However, a lot of it also connects with me in an intriguing way as well.

I used to “acquire” my music online, but most of my sources have dried up recently. So in the past couple of weeks, I’ve actually purchased a few CDs. Today I went out and bought “Congratulations.” I feel it’s too soon to do an in depth review of the album, but there are a few things I’d like to mention. So here is my mini, initial response review.

As you’ll see in any (and every) review of the album, there isn’t a single “Kids”-esque song on here. I can’t imagine any of these tunes getting played on the radio. And like their previous work, some of the songs work for me and some of them don’t. But I’ve only listened to most of them 1-2 times each. There’s one song I want to point out that I’ve been playing almost nonstop since I first heard it; one song that seems to be one of most listener’s least favorite tracks on the album: “Lady Dada’s Nightmare.” It’s an interesting instrumental piece that I can’t get enough of. The screams/groans in the middle of the song are both alluring and haunting. As a creative writer, I most often find inspiration from music. And the coolest ideas come when I’m not even searching for an idea. I listened to this song the first time and something subconsicously clicked in my head. I played it a second time and images and scenes began playing out in my mind more vividly. There’s no way to describe how awesome it is when an idea strikes, but those who have experienced it no how great it feels. And that alone made this CD worth the $8 I paid.

I’ve noticed something different lately with the CDs I’ve bought, rather than “acquired.” I actually listen to them from beginning to end. I want to get my money’s worth. When I’m listening to free music, I’ll skip around and skim what’s there. If I had downloaded this CD, “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” would have been one of the many tunes I would’ve skipped over 30 seconds into them.

To conclude, I recommend this album to those who like to listen to something off beat and different. You just might find a little inspiration in there somewhere.


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