MGMT is mushy. As much as you would like to grab hold of a chorus or maybe a catchy riff, the songs slip away into a jumble of sounds. It’s as though by lading the songs with buzzes and whizzes we’ll be tricked into thinking the band is experimental.

The unbridled egotism and pop glam of Oracular Spectacular has been put aside as the duo supposedly ‘matures’. By matures, I mean to say they have discovered more buttons in the studio. If it’s not the distorted child singing on ‘Alien Days’, it’s the mechanical sparkle on ‘I Love You Too, Death’ or cyber horns on ‘An Orphan Of Fortune’.

With so much musical ramshackle, the songs on the album blend together in a sloppy sonic soup that is altogether flavourless. But perhaps I should be more understanding. It’s not MGMT’s fault they were spoilt with a flukefully successful debut album. The effort of trying to recapture that same energy must be so draining, they probably thought: ‘Hey, let’s just add some random noises and call it a day.’

Too harsh? Oh well, I suppose there are moments. Maybe. If you squint a little. There is some playfulness on ‘Your Life Is A Lie’. A degree of wry humour on ‘Mystery Disease’. A flash of whimsy in ‘Cool Song No. 2’. But these brief moments quickly become submerged in a messy mix of wannabe cool psychedelic pop.

MGMT is not an album for fans of music; it is an album for fans of MGMT. The really, really, hardcore ones.

2/5 stars


MGMT is out now through Sony Music Australia.

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