This may be MGMT’s last chance.
The hype around the two-man group known as MGMT is well-known by now: college buddies who threw together a couple hits that no one will forget, like “Electric Feel” and “Kids,” capturing a generation of mixed youth. They shot to stardom with those hits, only to spend the next two albums not meeting the expectations that fans, critics and their record company wanted to see. Looking at their first three albums, and then their decline of streaming numbers on Spotify, confirms that the band’s fan base has steadily withered away over the past 11 years.
That’s hardly surprising; Indie has changed over the last decade. The good news is that “Little Dark Age” marks a comeback for the duo. It seems as they let go of their shaggy, 1960s references for streamlined pop, and have rediscovered their ability to write hooks. The dark tones are continually present as the rest of their discography, but the lyrics are more focused and arranged.
The first song, “She Works Out For Me,” sounds extremely unfamiliar to their household sound, and raises some concern in listeners who have waited for their classic takes. And as the album plays out, there still isn’t much familiarity to be found. The sense of exploring new territories, or experimenting with new instruments and expanding their horizons is clear.
It’s something different. MGMT is proving they still have a lot of talent and creativity. With something like music, creators can decide to shake up their sound with new albums, personas, groups or collaborations.
The track “Me and Michael” has strong progressive pop and rock overtones, similar to the band Phoenix. One of the most played songs on the album on Apple Music, it’s a great song to have the windows rolled down to while on a drive. For the same, relaxing vibes, both “James” and “When You Die” are perfect to complete a playlist.
From the new synths to the new lyrical changes, it can require some work to get on board with the newest MGMT.