If MGMT's first album, Oracle Spectacle, was fine wine, then sophomore set Congratulations comprises the dregs. The album lacks the pop appeal and cocaine bass lines that commercial radio has become addicted to.

The nine tracks, although diverse, seem scattered like a plane crash. "Flash Delerium" is a chaos of Willy Wonka synths, pounding drums, driving distortion, all ending in a parade of marching-band zombies. (Sounds better on paper than it does on vinyl.) The tracks lack commercial viability for disparate reasons: length of song (“Siberian Breaks” is a daunting 12:10), lack of lyrics and/or worthwhile lyrics (“Lady Dada's Nightmare”), or lack of danceability (see rest of album).

To be fair, a few cuts have the footprint of Oracle Spectacle, such as the kindergarten charm of "I Found A Whistle," which, ironically, features neither a whistle nor whistling but harks back to MGMT's joyous "Kids." “Someone's Missing,” is a brief but potent concoction of dreamy vocals, wavy sitar, and ’70s bass riffs. Fans of Bowie, Mew, or the Kinks would likely enjoy the nuggets in this auditory blend, while fans of the band’s earlier work are likely to lose their appetite.

  • Album title: Congratulations (2010)
  • Artist: MGMT
  • Label: Sony/Columbia
  • Songs: (1) It's Working (2) Song for Dan Treacy (3) Someone's Missing (4) Flash Delirium (5) I Found a Whistle (6) Siberian Breaks (7) Brian Eno (8) Lady Dada's Nightmare (9) Congratulations

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