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Congratulations Import

3.8 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, April 13, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 sophomore release from the Alt-Rock/Pop outfit. Congratulations is a collection of nine individual musical tours de force sequenced to flow with sonic and thematic coherence. Produced by MGMT and Sonic Boom, the album was recorded throughout 2009 in Upstate New York, Malibu and Brooklyn and features the band's core duo (Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser) performing with Matt Asti, Will Berman and James Richardson, their live band.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B0037W68F4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,465 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Yes, there are no singles on this album, which is going to be a shock (and a dissapointment) to a lot of fans of Oracular Spetacular, but this is an album that you cannot judge after one spin as it takes a while to sink in. But if you give it a chance it is a real grower and is easily the best album I have heard this year. Here is a brief breakdown....

1. It's Working - awesome, psychedelic tinged opener. Wouldn't be out of place on the second half of Oracular Spetacular.

2. Song For Dan Treacy - One of my favorites. It's not traditional pop per say and probably won't be played on the radio, but is very melodic even without a typical chorus.

3. Someone's Missing - The closest this album comes to a traditional single. Ends abruptly once the chorus kicks in at the end, but is still very good.

4. Flash Delerium - This is the first "single" off the album and when I heard it my initial reaction was "blah." But this song sounds so much better in the context of the entire album and is now my personal favorite off the album.

5. I Found a Whistle - A nice, slow break proceeeding "Flash Delerium." I imagine this will be the song that will cause the lighters and cell phones to come out during their concerts. Listen to the lyrics carefully. I assume the song is not referring to the "Phantom Menace," but I wonder.....

6. Siberian Breaks - This is probably the song that will determine if you like the album or not. At 12 minutes long it is one of those songs that people are going to love and hate. It is really like 4 or 5 songs thrown together, but for whatever reason it completely works and is the heart of this album.

7. Brian Eno - An almost punk-type song dedicated to Brian Eno.
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Format: MP3 Music
MGMT founders, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, were unceremoniously catapulted into fame with the release of Oracular Spectacular--a place that they didn't appear to comfortably occupy. The crowds of excessively adoring adolescents were perceived by the band as a pseudo-fan base. The darkly tinged lyrics of "Time to Pretend" and "Kids" seemed lost on the blithe crowds who quickly targeted the album as the latest, must-have fad. The result was a flurry of interviews and award show appearances for which the band appeared to be ill-suited. Therefore, for their second venture, they seem to have distanced themselves from the style that forced them into the limelight--a style that was simply one of many in their creative repertoire.

With Congratulations, MGMT has meticulously crafted a musical journey that meanders through various soundscapes and experiments with broad variations in tempo and style. Although the universal sentiment is one of introspection and disillusionment, it is not crowded with thoughts and messages of gloom. While it would be fitting to assert that the drifting guitar riffs and psychedelic instrumentals are reminiscent of such classic rock influences as Pink Floyd, it must also be affirmed that the band has maintained a sense of innovation and novelty. It's safe to assume that there are no top 40 hits on this album, but this was likely intentional. It seems that, on this outing, MGMT's artistic course was a direct reaction to the standards of the radio industry, as accessibility was not a consideration. After all, their intended audience is not the mainstream crowd that flocked to their previous release.
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Format: Audio CD
Weeks after its release and I'm loving MGMT's strange new sophomore album, Congratulations, more with each listen. I hear the Zombies influence, a few songs even making me daydream about a Zombies/Of Montreal collaboration. The vocals sometimes remind of disco-era Mick Jagger, but only if he had a little less Mick in his Jagger. They remind my girlfriend of Prince, which I also agree with. And their songs also remind me of this and that, as does their look and general approach and appeal. They're artsy pop music historians disguised as hipsters - the price young artists pay in 2010.

All those familiarities we came to know on the band's debut, Oracular, are less obvious on Congrats. The sound here is also less instant, more clouded, expansive and odd, which led many reviewers to dismiss the record as inaccessible pop music upon its release. But wait, these songs are, for the most part, accessible as hell. Maybe not in an "Electric Feel" over-the-top sort of way, but this is definitely a poppy record full of hooks, riffs and fun, memorable moments. That the general vibe is so out there only makes the repeat button more interesting (and essential).

So are these seemingly hip kids, as so many have said, simply getting weird to be cool in the face of stardom? That's not the feeling I get. I like to think that they - a then unknown band - made an uber poppy album (Oracular) so that they could later make an album like Congrats and have people actually hear it and think about it and talk about it and argue about it. From t-ball to the majors, and it worked. And they did a fine job of making credible pop a couple of years ago, their debut standing as one of the best pop records of recent memory.
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MGMT: Congratulations - A Review
I'm still buying it tomorrow, a 3 star CD by them is still better than some of the crap I've heard lately. Maybe if I have low expectations it'll blow my mind or something.
Apr 12, 2010 by Amazon Customer |  See all 3 posts
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