MGMT – Flash Delirium

March 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

After the huge success of MGMTs debut album Oracular Spectacular, people are understandably excited about the follow up, Congratulations which is set to be released April 13th. The duo are attempting to heighten the excitement leading to its release by being, well, slightly weird about it. First of all, that picture up there is the album art. Weird. Secondly, they’ve said that no singles will be released from the album, it is, and I quote, “a collection of nine individual musical tours de force sequenced to flow with sonic and thematic coherence”. Okay then. The band have told people not to expect another ‘Kids’ or ‘Time To Pretend’. They wanted a way to get people to listen to the whole of their record and not just the stand out tracks. Which indicates they were pissed that most people did indeed only listen to the singles from Oracular Spectacular. Admirable then, that they’re devising new methods of getting people interested in full albums again.

So – ‘Flash Delirium’ is NOT a single. It’s a ‘taster’ apparently. They’re giving it away for free, which is nice. But it seems to me that this whole hoopla serves as nothing more than a distraction to the fact that the music might not actually be that special. At least not in the same way as their debut. All of those songs, even the singles which became huge, overplayed, commercial successes, had something very distinctive about them. You knew an MGMT song when you heard it. The first time I heard this song, however, I didn’t feel like I was listening to anything particularly special. Not that the song isn’t good, it’s relatively catchy, it has a trippy, psychedelic feel combined with the poppy sensibilities that made previous songs such singalong anthems. It’s all just…okay. After a few listens I was left with the feeling that MGMT want to reinvent themselves as a band, but they’re not quite sure how to go about it, or who they want to be.

Weirdly, parts of this song seem to be channelling Arcade Fire. The rhythm, the tambourines, the echoed chants. And we all know that no-one should try to be Arcade Fire. Especially not when you’re MGMT. This ‘taster’ hasn’t increased my excitement for Congratulations, it’s led me to hope that the other eight ‘tour de forces’ have a stronger and more defined sound to them. Here’s hoping…

Download the track for free here

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