MGMT's Congratulations: A Strange and Psychedelic Rock Album
MGMT is a band that rose to fame with their catchy synth-pop singles like \"Kids\" and \"Time to Pretend\". But in 2010, they released their second studio album, Congratulations, which was a radical departure from their previous sound. Instead of making more radio-friendly hits, they decided to explore the weirder and darker side of psychedelic rock.
Congratulations is a nine-track album that features long and complex songs, with influences from 60s and 70s rock legends like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Brian Eno. The album is full of surreal lyrics, distorted guitars, and experimental sounds. Some of the highlights include \"Siberian Breaks\", a 12-minute epic that spans multiple genres and moods, \"Flash Delirium\", a chaotic and catchy tune that mixes pop, rock, and brass instruments, and \"Congratulations\", a melancholic and ironic ballad that closes the album.
The album received mixed reviews from critics and fans, who were either impressed by MGMT's artistic ambition or disappointed by their lack of commercial appeal. However, over time, the album has gained more appreciation and recognition as a unique and daring work of art. MGMT has proven that they are not afraid to challenge themselves and their listeners with their music.
If you are interested in listening to Congratulations, you can download it for free from the Internet Archive[^1^], or buy it from online stores. You can also find the lyrics and annotations for each song on Genius[^3^] [^4^].
One of the most interesting aspects of Congratulations is the collaboration between MGMT and Sonic Boom, the former member of the influential space rock band Spacemen 3. Sonic Boom, whose real name is Peter Kember, co-produced and mixed the album, adding his signature touch of psychedelic effects and lo-fi aesthetics. He also contributed vocals, keyboards, and guitar to some of the tracks.
Sonic Boom's influence can be heard throughout the album, especially on songs like \"It's Working\", \"Someone's Missing\", and \"Lady Dada's Nightmare\". These songs feature layers of reverb, distortion, feedback, and noise, creating a trippy and hypnotic atmosphere. Sonic Boom also helped MGMT to experiment with different instruments and recording techniques, such as using a toy piano, a mellotron, and a cassette recorder.
MGMT has praised Sonic Boom for his role in shaping the sound and vision of Congratulations. They have said that he was like a mentor and a friend to them, and that he encouraged them to follow their instincts and be creative. They have also expressed their admiration for his work with Spacemen 3 and his solo projects. MGMT and Sonic Boom have continued to work together on other projects, such as MGMT's self-titled third album and Sonic Boom's All Things Being Equal.
Despite the lack of singles and the unconventional sound of Congratulations, the album was a commercial success, reaching number two on the US Billboard 200 and number four on the UK Albums Chart. It also charted well in other countries, such as Australia, Canada, France, and Germany. The album sold 66,000 copies in its first week in the US, and 17,000 copies in its first week in the UK. As of June 2013, it had sold 219,000 copies in the US. [^1^] [^2^]
The album also received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised MGMT's creativity and maturity. Some critics compared the album to classic works by The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and David Bowie. However, some fans were disappointed by the departure from the pop-oriented style of Oracular Spectacular, and some critics found the album too self-indulgent and pretentious. The album has a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 40 reviews. [^3^]
MGMT supported the album with a world tour that lasted from March 2010 to December 2011. They played at various festivals, such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, and Reading and Leeds. They also performed on several TV shows, such as Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. During the tour, they played most of the songs from Congratulations, as well as some from Oracular Spectacular and their earlier EPs. ec8f644aee