Reviews

Classic Album Review: MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

The album has become a celebration, a thrillride of passion and feel-good emotion, powerful enough to inspire a generation to cut loose and leave their worries at the door.

MGMT are a synth-pop band hailing from Connecticut famous mainly for the brilliance of this particular debut album they released on the 2nd October 2007 digitally and January 22 2008 physically. It came a year after they signed their first record deal with RED Ink and the singles they released from it have become cultural classics of our time so it was really hard to ignore this album in all honesty. It is truly one of my favourite childhood albums and the nostalgia trip I have gained from re-listening to this album upon reviewing it has been lovely.

The commercial performance and importance of this album is the stand-out factor for me as you will very rarely find an album of this style hailing three if not four of the biggest songs of it’s generation but that is what ‘Oracular Spectacular’ has going in it’s favour. No matter who you are or where you come from, you have definitely heard of at least one of ‘Kids’, ‘Time To Pretend’ or ‘Electric Feel’ and that alone is impressive enough from one project. ‘Weekend Wars’ is another fantastic song with perhaps more stripped back production than the other three singles but the way it works with simple guitar riffs and minor synthesisers is magnificent.

The critical reception of this album is another factor that can be admired, particularly looking at the pop avenue it went down and how critics usually condemn that style. Rolling Stone featured ‘Oracular Spectacular’ in their 500 Best Albums Of All Time list and hailed the album for it’s distinctive melodies and daring narratives. It was also named as the 19th best album of the decade and given a “universal acclaim” tag by Metacritic so it is hard to argue with the album’s credentials. The album went platinum in the UK and the singles can still be enjoyed to this day.

This album will, however, never be right up with the very best because there is an overwhelming feeling when listening that the band truly peaked with those four singles and the second half may not seem as clear-cut and concise as the firs half. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that no matter how many times you hear it, the album remains an enjoyable listen and there are some truly mesmerising moments on it. The album has become a celebration, a thrillride of passion and feel-good emotion, powerful enough to inspire a generation to cut loose and leave their worries at the door.

Overall, ‘Oracular Spectacular’ dazzles you and puts a smile on your face with nostalgia trips and beautiful synthetic production. It boasts three of the best songs of the 00s and is without doubt one of the best albums since the turn of the century. In fact, I’m going to go listen to ‘Kids’ again.

83

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