MGMT | Little Dark Age

Family Average: 4.5/7

This may be the first band in the bunch that our whole family has been exposed to prior to review. That doesn’t necessarily mean we were excited to listen. As a matter of fact, most of us were hesitant to give it a try. As a result there are some negative, some positive, and one …almost plagiarized… batch of reviews.

Check it out:

Listen along on Spotify and check out what we had to say:

 
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I was expecting this to be terrible because I recall how disappointing the last album was but I was delightedly thrown off.  This album has a pleasant 80s sound, trading their gung ho progressive style that came at you with all types of sounds for a smooth, uniform synth-pop sound.

It was kind of hard to tell who it was at first until that unmistakable Andrew Vanwyngarden voice came through on “When You Die.” Nice harmonies surprised me on that track too.  This an album in which yes, you can tell it is MGMT, but no, you are not mad about it.

I liked it plainly and simply.

Overall, things are looking much better for MGMT. This one was fun.

5.5/7

 
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I was not expecting anything since its pretty difficult to top their best work, but this was pretty good. Nostalgia is fun, but it helps to make something new out of the old. They didn’t really explore that here. Still nice songs though. Good synth.

5/7

 
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Okay I’ll level with you all…I was procrastinating this one because I’m just so over MGMT haha. I literally did my classic Kate “aaagh” when I had to hit play on this. But it only took a bit for me to… begrudgingly…get into it.

I found it to be much more “synth-pop” (I had to google if this was the genre I meant) than their past albums. “Days That Go Away” is the closest to their older stuff I think. I have to say I’m a fan of the new direction.

It feels like a fun thing to bop around to when riding around on your bike or making out with your fellow detention buddies in some alternate reality where you get to re-enact all your favorite 80s movies. Particularly liked “She Works Out Too Much” and “Me and Michael”.

Nothing extraordinary but I’m just relieved they changed it up!

4.5/7

 
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Not my kind of music. I felt like i was in an elevator.

[editor’s note: the rest of Dad’s review had to be removed because we found out he just copied and pasted an excerpt from the Pitchfork Review of the album. Didn’t see that coming…but then again I guess he was writing book reports before the internet came out so we can’t blame him.]

2/7

 

"I don’t know you guys I was pretty apprehensive to crack into this nut, but once it started rolling it was a pretty nice ride."

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Hey the boys are back in town! And they are ripping it up with some sweet soulful 80s jams. I don’t know you guys I was pretty apprehensive to crack into this nut, but once it started rolling it was a pretty nice ride. All the way I kept looking back on how far the boys have come. From the days when they basically took over three years of everyones life with that kids song and the slew of remixes. I can confidently say that I am kinda liking this whole new thing a lot more. Them fizzling synths and punchy drums bring me to a good place. Keep it up MGMT you got a special place in my heart.

6/7

 
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What a trip back to the early 80’s. Kind of like I was watching MTV circa 1982! “She Works Out Too Much” and “One Thing Left to Try” reminded me of The Waitresses or even Blondie.  The tracks I liked are ones where they most definitely stuck with that New Wave/Post Punk 80’s vibe. For “Tslamp” and “Days that got away”, I get they wanted to do something different but it’s almost like they are trying to hard. Stick with what works. The album kind of fizzles at the end. Like, “When You’re Small”, I didn’t get that fitting in. Overall a pretty good album.  

5/7 Thank you!

 
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I gotta admit, the album is pretty uneventful. They’ve always had a synth aspect but it was really played up here. The genre leaves a lot of room for creativity and they did explore options a bit. Voice modulation in particular was effectively used to give songs that ghostly effect. But other than that the album just seems to lack spirit.

Some songs did have a bit of an edge  but they never held my interest for too long. A lot of them were sort of one-note, like they just kept repeating the same lines or segments. They didn’t change up enough so they ended up sort of droning.

You can tell they had fun with the song subjects and lyrics, as they’re a lot more out there than your typical pop songs and can be tongue-in-cheek or facetious at times. So I can admire that deviation from status quo.

It is a decent album, but not something I feel I’d actively seek out to listen to again.

4.5/7

"Some songs did have a bit of an edge  but they never held my interest for too long."

Sean Maldjian