Music is why we do this. It can fully engage the senses, resulting in deep thinking sessions. It can open doors to your past that you’ve long since lost the keys for. It can prompt you to create a wonderful future. Or… you can turn your brain off completely and “lose yourself to dance.” Music can introduce you to the world, or keep you safely tucked away in your own headspace. It is whatever we need it to be, whenever we need it.
There’s something magical about MGMT. Sometimes they feel like British rockers who time traveled from the 60s. Other times it’s slightly psychedelic pop. I like all of it. Songs like Weekend Wars from Ocular Spectacular almost bend time for me in this way. It’s easy to jam out to this song with a full-on pretend drum kit. Alternatively, you can take a quickest peek at the lyrics, and still be processing them hours later.
Tracks like Electric Feel and Kids are certified anthems. I know plenty of people who know and sing these songs, yet never took another look at MGMT. They are fun songs, but I find myself with Future Reflections on repeat. It’s got the lowest play count (albeit 8.2M) on Spotify, but for me it’s engaging and relaxing.
Congratulations is another album I used to repeat frequently. It’s Working is a journey of a song. Layers of instrumentation, multiple transitions, and their classically smooth vocals actually make this song great running accompaniment on a warm spring day. The track may be about drug use, but “it’s working in your blood” can be twisted to mean oxygen if you take your own creative liberties, like I did.
Someone’s Missing brings me back into the house, sitting in my chair. The 300Bs are glowing. The lights are some shade of amber, 40% brightness. I’m chilling. My Sennheiser HD 800 S fills my mind’s expanse. The voices are soft, the strings are light and effortless. The intensity of the song builds so slowly that when you hit the funky breakdown, the song is just about over. The energy is high, but it remains calm. It’s such a cool tune.
After a while, MGMT fell off of my radar until Little Dark Age. She Works Out Too Much is the prime example of being multifaceted. It’s fun and has radio appeal on the surface, but the lyrics reward those who look deeper. It has double and triple meanings all over the place while going through the rigors of modern, app-based dating. The games and superficial nature of it all just to try and feel something for a few minutes. This is the MGMT I know and still love.
When You’re Small is another track that I love but has the least number of streams on Spotify. It’s slower in tempo and more introspective with its energy. It’s there, but it urges you to reflect. Overall, MGMT has a very consistent discography. I still need to dive into their earliest work, but they leave me wanting to do that.
This was a short edition of The Music Den given the holiday, but the music never stops! Whether you use it to party, think, relax, heal, or grow… keep those tracks flowing!