MGMT’s Colorful “Little Dark Age”

Everything about MGMT’s “Little Dark Age” screams dreamy rock.

Their last big hit drowned the charts with the 2010 album “Congratulations,” but “Little Dark Age,” released this February, radiates a dark humor, conveying the simplicity of music making while trying harder to have fun.

After landing a consecutive 12 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 and reaching number two on the charts, band members Ben Goldwasser, Andrew VanWyngarden, Will Berman, James Richardson, Matt Asdi and Hank Sullivant take on a fresh psychedelic pop in their newest album. “Little Dark Age” is a trimmed-down version of their fast paced, pop-infused indie- alternative style with songs like “She Works Out Too Much” and “When You’re Small” that make a classic tribute to the ‘80s. Creators such as Ariel Pink and Patrick Wimberly contribute to the 44-minute album.

Nothing about MGMT reads artificial. The band took a leap into stardom in the beginning of 2009. They opened up for Paul McCartney on his Summer Live tour and also collaborated with stars like Jay-Z, Radiohead, M.I.A. and Beck. Their breakout successes “Kids,” “Electric Feel,” and “Time to Pretend” blasted them into radio sensations.

A little over five years after their last album release, MGMT’s latest drunken pop album dissolves right into a thrill of guitars, bass, piano, percussion patterns and progressions. “One Thing Left to Try” determines the energy of “Little Dark Age.” It brings forth a feeling comparable to the cliche scene in a movie where the girl jumps around her room, dancing with a hairbrush in hand.

“She Works Out Too Much” makes you sit down and revel in the obscure riffs and charismatic style that MGMT creates a sarcastic take on ‘common pop’. Halfway into the album, “Days That Got Away” gives a comfort of consistent drums with guitar thrown around throughout the medley. The track “Little Dark Age” launches itself into a strong spacey rhythm in an exceptionally persistent ‘80s rock and techno feel. Arguably, it’s one of the best songs on the album. There’s a reason band members decided to name the album as a tribute to the song. Next, “Me and Michael” possesses a coming-of-age feel that makes you smile– it’s a feel-good breezy track.

“TSLAMP” comes in to completely devastate the starry, happy-go-lucky sense of the album; The 4:30 song drags on and on. The rhythm in “James” is completely unfit for the style of “Little Dark Age.” Both tracks stick out like a sore thumb.

“When You’re Small” and “When You Die”  engage each other with coupled glossy vocals; They’re two of the smoothest most compelling songs of the album. “Hand It Over” is a personal favorite, and where the band’s true voice vibrates. No joke, this dreamy love ballad  is a song made to be listened and danced to. Dance to this song at prom, and if not, at least listen to somewhere.

A “Little Dark Age” is exactly what one would expect from MGMT’s curious pop, yet it simultaneously attracts the best kind of new style unwarranted by anyone else than the creators of “Little Dark Age.”

We thought, hmmm, I dunno. Let’s write a really weird album,” Van Wyngarden, the lead singer, said in an interview with The Guardian.

They definitely did.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *