With their 2010 album Congratulations, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT challenge their fan base with a broad, left-field pop sound that leaves audiences giddy.
Any band deserves kudos for overcoming the inevitable challenges of writing a new album. For most artists, the challenge stems from a shift in style, departed band members, or relinquishing studio leadership to a seasoned producer.
For a band whose debut spawned three singles (and a GRAMMY-winning remix treatment from Justice) that lit up radio, the blogosphere, and dancefloors all at once, MGMT faced the most crushing challenge of all: the sophomore slump. With a record as good as 2007’s Oracular Spectacular, lesser artists would recycle the hits with crossed fingers, hibernate until the buzz died down, or play it safe with side-projects and solo efforts.
MGMT dealt with the external pressure by imposing a bit of their own. The songwriting duo, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, took the latent psychedelica of Oracular and blew them into 1970s proportions on their 2010 follow-up, Congratulations. They in turn challenged their fanbase with a broader, even more left-field pop sound that left audiences giddy.
Fitting that today’s free MP3 is “Brian Eno,” a stand-out track from Congratulations that demonstrates how MGMT addressed the above: with a faux British accent, ’60s surf guitars, and an unprecedented lyrical focus on one super-producer of modern pop and electronica (free MP3 to everyone who can guess his name!).
MGMT dealt with their obstacles by not taking themselves very seriously in a serious effort to further themselves, leaving the fans with more challenge – just try not to dance along.
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