Leaps in the right direction

Leaps in the right direction

It's interesting to see how American psychedelic rock band MGMT has changed over the years. In their new self-titled record - their third album - the band manages to stay whimsically dreamy without sounding attention-grabbingly electronic.

The album starts strongly with opener Alien Days, which begins with a child's voice; this later morphs into that of an adult - lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden.

The symphonic, almost hymn-like intro transitions seamlessly into the pop part of the song, powered by deliberately cliched pop-rock guitar strumming and drums, and VanWyngarden's dreary vocals. The band wastes no time in reminding listeners of their famous eccentricity.

MGMT seem to have put a lot of effort into planning the order of the 10 tracks. There's a subtle gradient in style as the album moves from song to song: the pop elements dwindle as the band's idiosyncrasies take over. By the eighth track, I Love You Too, Death, the sound has become a fusion of random guitar riffs, synths and VanWyngarden's deep vocals, all magically mashed together.

MGMT's new direction is fantastic, moving away from in-your-face, sensational awe to something more mature, yet addictively psychedelic.

YP Rating: 4/5

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