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MGMT don’t need the formal introduction other bands receive on this site. After all, two and a half years ago, Rolling Stone deemed them an “Artist to Watch” (even though there are two of them)–and if Rolling Stone says to keep an eye out for you, chances are there is a sizable horde already looking. To put it another way: the band was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 2010… even though their much buzzed Oracular Spectacular was released in 2007… and it was technically their second full-length. Their music has appeared on the soundtracks to such landmarks of modern filmmaking as 21 and Sex Drive. They are one of my wife‘s favorite bands, and chances are your girlfriend/roommate/sister loves them, too.
But that was then, and now MGMT is gearing up for their first post-famesplosion release, Congratulations, slated for an April 13th release on Columbia Records. The question on every music dork’s mind was whether they band would crank out another “Kids” or daringly thumb their nose at their newfound notoriety and produce something that challenged their listeners. After listening to “Flash Delirium,” I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Argos. MGMT has not taken the easy way out of their media saturation conundrum, opting to create a work which confounds some expectations by being demanding instead of poppy, layered instead of glossy.
Best of all, they’ve done it in a way that channels the aspects of their sound which made them so popular in the first place. The components are all in place, if obscured by the more ambitious trajectory of the song’s whirling vertices. “Flash Delirium” plays up the band’s psychedelic leanings, but those lovable synthesizers are still there, too. Three minutes in, there is a huge blast of vocal harmonies sweeter than anything on their previous outing. And the ending? Well, it’s considerably more balls to the wall than Oracular‘s mid-tempo jams.
Now that Mr. Art Brut and I are among the converted, I wonder what current fans will think. Comment away, dear readers–comment away!