MGMT’s latest record Little Dark Age has been received almost universally well, signalling a return to pop music after two albums that passed well under the radar. This new record blends 1980’s nostalgia with the admirable weirdness of MGMT, making for an album full of welcome surprises from the duo. Their use of synth throughout the album is always prominent, accompanied with a retro drum machine giving it that authentic 80’s feel. Though the album seems heavily influenced by classic pop, MGMT seem to put their own unique and quirky twist on the genre. This is evident in their music videos released for the three title tracks, which are blissfully creepy, yet hilarious in their tongue-in-cheek nature.
This new attempt at a hit record has a better shot than the duo’s two previous albums. Their new yet familiar direction has many clear influences such as Ariel Pink, who worked on two of the tracks. Little Dark Age seems to be a far cry from the catchy party bangers from their first album Oracular Spectacular, yet there is a quintessentially MGMT sound that seems to be finally flourishing. Aside from this, they have expressed some truly profound lyrics. The exotic synth ballad ‘TSLAMP’, (stands for ‘Time Spent Looking At My Phone’) deals with phone addiction in the modern age. They all but lands a bullseye here, spouting lyrics that put things so clearly in perspective: “Find me when the lights go down / Signing in signing out / Gods descend to take me home / Find me staring at my phone”.
Little Dark Age demands to be noticed by prospective fans, and lovers of the genre. It may be different from those chart-toppers released in 2007, but it showcases a new direction for MGMT; one that claims a monopoly on this genre of weird, semi-spooky, dream-pop mania.
College Tribune Rating: 8/10
Conor Capplis – Music Writer