MGMT: Congratulations (Columbia) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, July 19th, 2024  




Apr 16, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Career suicide, heinous album art, and no regard for their fanbase. Those have been the three themes bandied about most often in early appraisals of Congratulations. And while following up the smash commercial and critical success of 2008’s Oracular Spectacular, an album featuring no less than three absolutely scorching indie dance floor stompers in “Kids,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Electric Feel,” the duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser this time delve deeply into their arcane record collections, unearthing such obscure ‘60 psych as The Electric Prunes and Baroque pop act The Left Banke, alongside ‘80s British indie icons Teardrop Explodes.

As has been so widely publicized, there aren’t any infectious electro rave-up singles to be found here. Yet the Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom, ex-Spacemen 3) produced record is considerably more cohesive than Oracular. The first single, “Flash Delerium” has the best chance of capturing the attention of the band’s more casual fanbase, building on a metronomic drum machine patter that evokes the minimalism of Suicide before flowering into a schizoid sing-song like some lysergic 45 played on pirate radio circa 1969.

Two musical icons, Dan Treacy and Brian Eno, are each given shout-outs, although the respective impetuses couldn’t be farther removed from one another. Treacy’s underappreciated genius is invoked on “Song For Dan Treacy,” a tune feting The Televisions Personalities’ eccentric, beleaguered founder, copping his band’s shambolic ethos while sending up his knack for rendering songs about the prosaically compelling, as VanWyngarden gushes effusively, “In the middle of the park/When the underground is dark/He’s a poet.”

The brisk psychedelic groove of “Brian Eno” is more of a commentary on the bizarrely conflicted nature of his legend, finding VanWyngarden cheekily urging with alacrity, “If I was telling lies you’d probably know/But we’re always one step behind him/He’s Brian Eno.”

These two tracks are emblematic of the dichotomy at the heart of post-Oracular MGMT-how to straddle the line between the mainstream and underground without losing your mind or integrity. They never fully reconcile this conundrum, but have nonetheless created a fine record, which, while distantly removed stylistically from their first, doesn’t lose grasp of their innate pop instincts, channeling them in a more elliptical, silvery manner. This new context may be initially off-putting, but ultimately the payoff’s that much greater. (

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 0/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

April 16th 2010

This review was alright.  This one was more on point I think.

April 19th 2010

i love this album. just keeps growing on me!

August 10th 2011

Cars and houses are expensive and not every person can buy it. But, loan are invented to support different people in such kind of hard situations.

August 17th 2011

Different people all over the world take the personal loans from various creditors, because that’s easy.

September 5th 2011

If you want to buy a house, you would have to receive the mortgage loans. Moreover, my mother commonly takes a consolidation loan, which is the most reliable.

September 6th 2011

People deserve very good life time and mortgage loans or term loan can make it better. Because people’s freedom is based on money.

February 24th 2012

A lot of specialists claim that loan help people to live their own way, because they are able to feel free to buy needed goods. Moreover, various banks give bank loan for young and old people.

February 28th 2012

Different people in every country get the business loans from various creditors, just because it’s simple.

August 9th 2012

The business loans seem to be useful for guys, which are willing to organize their own career. In fact, it’s comfortable to get a term loan.

May 13th 2013

I would like to propose not to wait until you earn enough amount of cash to buy different goods! You can just take the personal loans or student loan and feel fine

July 10th 2013

Have no money to buy a car? You should not worry, because that’s real to receive the mortgage loans to work out all the problems. Thence take a sba loan to buy everything you need.

August 21st 2013

Hundreds of guys simply chat about supreme quality! I know that to buy essay online seems to be reasonable.

September 1st 2013

Newly, pupils are overloaded to compose paper writing, they could check this link, and purchase essays. Reffering to this top-notch custom writing company pupils will acquire perfect college essay writing service.

September 3rd 2013

These days writing services that suggest buying original essays continue their fights for attention of the students. Buy essay online only from agencies which seem to be really competent.

September 13th 2013

Order college research paper from skilled writers. So if you lack of skills, you only need to follow this link and receive custom essays writing assistance.

September 16th 2013

You can purchase unique custom personal essays and professional essay writerwill be gratified to help you, come to their firm and derive pleasure from writing process.