This fall, the kinda-reluctant psych-pop all-stars MGMT will return with their third album, a self-titled affair. They recorded this one with Dave Fridmann, the Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev producer who also helmed Oracular Spectacular, MGMT’s 2008 debut. We should not, however, take this as an indication that the band is returning to the easy and immediate hooks of the “Time To Pretend” era. Lately, the band has been sharing decidedly weird new tracks like the Record Store Day cassingle “Alien Days” and the recent live debuts “Mystery Disease” and “Your Life Is A Lie,” and all those songs are on the new album. Also of note: Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser recorded this album as a duo, without the backing band that joined them on their last album, 2010′s divisive Congratulations. Check out the MGMT tracklist below.

01 “Alien Days”
02 “Cool Song No. 2″
03 “Mystery Disease”
04 “Introspection”
05 “Your Life Is A Lie”
06 “A Good Sadness”
07 “Astro-Mancy”
08 “I Love You To Death”
09 “Plenty Of Girls In The Sea”
10 “An Orphan Of Fortune”
(via Pitchfork)

MGMT is out 9/17 on Columbia.

Comments (54)
  1. “not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it… There’s no illusion on [Columbia Records'] part that that we’re going to turn into a Top 40 band.”

    That’s a quote from them about the album. These dudes need to rest their case with this whole thing. We get it guys. Congratulations was a pretty big middle finger to anyone thinking you were going to make really accessible pop music after “Kids” and “Time to Pretend.” You don’t need to beat everyone over the head with it at this point. Just make the music and let it speak for itself.


    • Well, WE totally get it.

      The hundreds of fans that show up to their concerts and only get excited for the songs off their first album could probably use another beating of their cranium.

      • i actually saw them get booed at the end of their set for not playing kids one time

        • haha, yeah, i saw them in 2010 and it went a bit like this:

          crowd stands around and stares at the band for a few songs.
          “time to pretend,” everyone goes nuts.
          crowd stands around and stares at the band for a few songs.
          “electric feel,” everyone goes nuts.
          crowd stands around and stares at the band for a few songs.
          “kids”…. well, you get it.

          MGMT did not look like they were having a fun time.

        • I was disappointed when kids wasn’t played only because that was the first time I saw them live and it was my second concert of all time. I still loved the songs from congratulations they played because the sound of them is magnificent thoroughly.

    • What’s funny about that quote is that them going out of their way to mention Columbia and how they ‘understand’ their “creative” approach to albums. Yeah, like all record companies are sittin in their offices proclaiming to bands, “Nah, we don’t care if you sell any records, you boys just go spend our money and enjoy yourselves. We love investing in bands that can’t break even for us.”

  2. Their whole anti-pop attitude is so annoying and outdated. No one would still be paying attention to them if it hadn’t been for the pop hits on Oracular Spectacular, which was the best music they ever made anyway.

    • maybe but Congratulations was a far better album overall

      • Was it?

          • ugh was not.

            Oracular was a pop masterpiece with carefully constructed songs and amazing melodies. Congratulations was the sound of a band aping a bunch of hipper influences and forgetting to write songs in the process. If it weren’t for the popularity of Oracular, Congratulations would have sold 7,000 copies on an indie label and vanished.

          • makeitpop, i’d argue it was far more consistent and interesting. Orac Spectac had a couple of straight up duds with 4th Dimensional Transition and Future Reflections…Congratulations only had Lady Dada’s Nightmare….which would’ve been fine without the eardrum shredding shrieking

          • Yeah Tim’s right.

          • oracular reminds me of empire of the sun’s “walking on a dream” – first half is packed with damn near instant-classic earworms; second half is completely forgettable head-scratchers.

          • I’m gonna have to disagree when you say the second half of OC is completely forgettable…the 1-2-3 of Pieces of What, Of Moons, Birds & Monsters, The Handshake is pretty damned solid. Perhaps it’s the first song of the second half, 4th Dimensional Transition that stops the flow dead in its tracks for you, if so, I’d completely understand. it’s like you’re wile e. coyote and that song’s the side of a mountain painted by roadrunner to look like a tunnel.

          • hmm, maybe i should give those tracks a re-listen – truth be told, it’s been some years since i’ve even dabbled in the back half of that album. i just remember really liking the first half back when it came out, and then getting to track 6 or so (4th Dimensional Transition, i presume?) and having the listening experience screech to a halt. same experience with “walking on a dream,” and i’ll admit, i’m the same way with that album now – i rarely ever venture beyond track 4.

    • I don’t feel that they have an “anti-pop attitude”, they’re simply setting proper expectations for their coming album. I think this could be one of the best albums of the year!

    • Aaron Cunningham  |   Posted on Jun 27th, 2013 +1

      Yeah, totally… How annoying that a band wants to make the music they want to make without laboring under the expectation that all future releases will be just like their debut album. POSEURS!

  3. I don’t think bands should be allowed to have self-titled albums after their debut.

  4. I don’t know about you guys but I’m pretty stoked on hearing it. *shrug*

  5. They should just go back and re-title any three of these songs “Time To Pretend Again”, “Kids 2″, and “Electric Feel (Return of the Eel)” and they’d probably be massive hits.

  6. Its really hard being one of the few who really loves Congratulations. I commend them for not rehashing Oracular and giving us a recycled version of the same record. It was a crazy departure and they pissed everyone off. Kinda dig that.

    • there’s more of you than you think

    • I had always thought the consensus was that Congratulations was a shift in styles but a great followup

    • I first listened to Congratulations with the intention of finding the big pop hits to use for a playlist.

      I didn’t find them, but I couldn’t stop listening to the album. I didn’t even care for MGMT after their first album, but I couldn’t stop listening to Congratulations. I, too, liked the fact that it was probably pissing off their initial fan base. But as I kept listening, I felt like they were gaining a lot of new fans with Congratulations.

      The only thing that sucked about Congratulations was that cover art, even after scratching it off with a quarter. (I didn’t get my super special coin!)

  7. Wow I had no idea that people were so polarized with their opinions about the two MGMT albums. I thought Oracular was great, an instant classic. I loved the first half of the album but didnt care much for the second half, then I saw them live and now i think the second half of that album holds up just fine. It’s a different style than the first half, but grand nonetheless. Then Congratulations came out, wasn’t was I was expecting at all. I was a little iffy on Flash Delirium when it came out as the first single, but Congratulations ended up being one of my favorite albums of the year

  8. You guys talk about Oracular as a David Guetta Summer Electro Hits album. It’s pop but sometimes it’s harder to make a pop song and hide some genius in there than making an alternative-psych-F-pop music album. Not dissing Congratulations, it’s an enjoyable record but with some duds thrown in.

    • “sometimes it’s harder to make a pop song and hide some genius in there than making an alternative-psych-F-pop music album”

      very true.

      putting your own unique, memorable touch on crafting something accessible, reference-able and “popular” is a lot harder than going all out on left-of-center.

      • +1. Fact remains, if it was so easy to write a hit song, everyone would do it. It’s much easier to make something inaccessible (which isn’t saying that Congratulations was tossed off slop).

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    • you can stop whenever you want. maybe try not caring so much about what others like

    • I’ll back you up on that title track. I had it on my wedding playlist during the cocktail hour.

      I liked that album tho, and even if you didn’t they are still a hell of a band. I saw them live a few years ago and thought they were great.

      • Perhaps my comment came off a little angrier than I intended. I’ll admit, though, that I am one of those people who really liked the first album but felt like I got pissed on by “Congratulations”. It just seemed so self-indulgent to me, like they took a bunch of drugs and made noise; it’s like they weren’t even trying.

        All I’m saying is, I just don’t wanna get pissed on by MGMT again. I’m not a toilet.

        • take it easy there mick; calm down. it’s ok. no one’s pissing on anyone. i promise they tried.

          try this little experiment…put on Oracular Spectacular and listen to it back to front, BUT skip Time to Pretend, Electric Feel and Kids. Then as soon as the last song ends, put on Congratulations and play it all the way through. obviously no one expects you to actually do this but the point is they didn’t suddenly become some whole other band. they didn’t abandon some signature sound. minus those three songs, the records flow into each other rather nicely. i don’t mean the sequencing is so natural it would make for a solid double album, just that the 2nd record isn’t so far removed from the first.

  10. I don’t think “cassingle” should be a word.

  11. Till the Sleepy Jackson reform and put out their rumored, fabled third LP, MGMT is my Sleepy Jackson…

  12. i’ve never listened to their albums aside from the singles from orac… but this comment thread has me seriously intrigued… *OPENS SPOTIFY*

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  14. I love the love that Congratulations is getting on here. Definitely one of my favorite albums of all time. “Someone’s Missing” is one of my favs on there. It’s so inadvertently sexy, it’s ridiculous. The albums tells such a clear and progressive story. I really hope this next album does the same.

  15. Congratulations was just as accessible. If not, even more so. Some people are ridiculous you just have to understand that people grow up and they’re not going to keep putting out the same old stuff. They can’t keep pretending to be people who they aren’t by putting out oracular spectacular type material!

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