MGMT-Oracular Spectacular

This band made it big with their first album, “Oracular Spectacular,” and has received numerous Grammy Nominations for their catchy pop tunes.

MGMT is an American rock band founded by Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden.  After the release of their first album, the members of their live band, Mathew Asti, James Richardson and Will Berman, joined the core band in the studio.  The band formed at Wesleyan University and was originally signed to Contora Records.  The band later signed with Columbia Records and Red Ink in 2006.

On October 5, 2007, Spin.com named MGMT the “Artist of the Day.”  On November 14, 2007, Rolling Stone tagged MGMT as a top ten “Artist to Watch” in 2008.  The band was named ninth in the BBC’s Sound of 2008 Top Ten Poll.  They were also named as Last.fm’s most played new artist of 2008 in their Best of 2008 list.

MGMT’s first album, “Oracular Spectacular,” debuted at number 12 on the UK album chart, number 13 after 34 weeks in New Zealand on their RIANZ charts, number six on the Australian ARIA Charts and hit number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.  It has also been named the 18th Best Album of the Decade by Rolling Stone Magazine.  It was named the Best Album of 2008 by NME.  MGMT also appeared prominently in Australia’s Top J Hottest 100 for 2008, coming in 2nd with “Electric Feel,” 5th with “Kids” and 18th with “Time To Pretend.”  MGMT was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and their track “Kids” was nominated for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals.  These were the first Grammy nominations for for the band.  At the 2009 Grammy Awards, the “Justice” remix of “Electric Feel” won the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.

Their second album, “Congratulations,” was released on April 13, 2010.  In January 2011, they began work on their third album titled “MGMT.”  The album was released on September 17, 2013, and was released as an early exclusive on Rdio music service on September 9, 2013.

Critics have generally like MGMT’s music ever since their debut album, “Oracular Spectacular.”  On Metacritic.com, the album received a 76 out of 100, which indicates “generally favorable reviews.”  Jason Lymangrover of Allmusic said the album has “some of the catchiest pop songs to come from NYC since the turn of the millennium.  The songs never feel insincere and the record is inherently strong throughout, making it a sold start to their careers.”  Another critic from Prefix Magazine described the album as “a college-dorm experiment gone horribly right.”

Not all reviews were positive though.  In a mixed review, Popmatters’ Matt Fiander criticized the second half of the album, writing, “the second half of the record settles into a more monotone kind of space rock that is as big as the better first half, but gives us no recognizable distinct songs or catchy melodies.”

MGMT have been hit or miss with their followup albums to “Oracular Spectacular,” but that is only because they experiment with their music so much that they sound nothing like their debut album on their followup albums.  They have the potential to be great again, don’t give up on them.  In the meantime, check out some of their biggest hits below and imagine what their next album could possibly sound like.

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