15 August 2008

Oracular Spectacular

The Brooklyn golden boys put psych-pop firmly on to our modern-day radar.

Ah, Brooklyn. Lately it seems to have become a bit of a breeding ground for talent. Asobi Seksu breaks out with their dreamy shoegazing rock, then Yeasayer shake it up with global influences before Santogold came along and tore everything up with her slightly schizophrenic, genre-hopping pop tunes. Now I've acquired MGMT's debut album "Oracular Spectacular", which is definitely set way apart from the rest.

They've kind of fashioned themselves a little niche that keeps them firmly on the good side of odd but have still managed to break into the mainstream with a psychedelic pickaxe. Their first single "Time to Pretend" was a poetic ode to feeling desperate in the fast lane with a whole verse dedicated to the people and things that were left behind, including the dog (awww). But then they came out with "Electric Feel" which was joyous and broke out like a good rash, far more accessible than their fairly melancholy first attempt.

Peeps living in the UK will definitely have heard one of their songs providing they have a TV - "Kids" has been used as an infectious jingle for an ad and is perhaps one of their most joyous and catchy songs. My personal favourite, it takes hold of you with a vice-like grip and showers you with its brilliant yellow confetti before feeding you sweets and finally lying you down on a pillow to rest. You dance in your head to it so much that you have to bite your lips to stop you smiling. It's that good.

But yet not all of their songs are this up-tempo. "The Youth" and "Weekend Wars" are two songs that are much more down-tempo, prompting some people to say that they're inconsistent and not sure what they want to be - to this I say that sometimes the best albums are the ones that go up and down on the mood and tempo scale. If this album was as happy and bouncy as "Electric Feel" and "Kids" then you'd be exhausted just listening to it. It's good that they're not just operating on one level!

It's not really hard to see why this album has been gaining so much praise really. At the minute there's a bit of a trend for being a bit retro and they pull this off without sounding cheesy or dated before their time. This is a properly modern psychedelic album that more than lives up to the promise of its lead singles.

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