MGMT – Congratulations

January 01, 1970



Congratulations is like a script to an
electrifying, dance infused musical. The plot propels the cast – charismatic
guitars, split-personality drum strikes, ricocheting bass lines and conniving
harpsichords – into a time machine set to destinations throughout the most
influential decades in music. From ‘50s soda pop shop to ‘60s psychedelic, ‘70s
Motown spirit to ‘80s electro boogie, MGMT incorporates influences from artists
past and creates ditties drenched in the band’s signature mod pop sound. Point
blank: Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser’s followup to the highly
acclaimed Oracular Spectacular has a
lot of personality – they recorded it with psychedelia maven Pete Kember, a/k/a
Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3/Spectrum fame – and the instrumental goods to back it up.


scene starts off with “It’s Working,” a surf rock number with palpitating instrumentals
that toss duel harmonies into another musical dimension – one splendidly filled
with floating guitar riffs and fluttering drum rolls. A nervous guitar builds
up anxiety as paranoid voices sing “it feels like someone’s missing” repeatedly
in “Someone’s Missing,” a beautiful ballad that starts off as sinister and then
– poof – changes into a soulful ‘70s inspired track. “Siberian Breaks” is Congratulations‘ solid gold single, a 12
minute smorgasbord of interchanging melodies that’s like five songs in one. The
duo also pays homage to two of their musical heroes: “Song for Dan Treacy” features
a forewarning organ arrangement, and “Brian Eno” is a head spinning track that embraces
illusion inducing melodies and speedy singing.


album closes with “Congratulations” as the boys vent their “half-assed guilt”
about the fame they’ve received as artists – a fame that is well deserved. With
Congratulations, MGMT proves they’re
more than just a one act show.  


Standout Tracks: “”Flash Delirium,”
“Siberian Breaks,” “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” CECILIA MARTINEZ


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