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Album Review: MGMT – Little Dark Age

2 min read
Photo: Brad Elterman/Sony Music Australia

The New York stalwart’s of strange pop have once again landed from outer space! Long story short, MGMT’s fourth record Little Dark Age is here. Recorded by the band and long term collaborator; Dave Friddman, it’s an album of psychedelic twists and turns that will potentially leave you wondering what life inside the MGMT hive-mind entails.

Everyone of a certain age and below will remember MGMT as one-time indie royalty with those songs that still get cranked out in university nightclubs all over the country. But whilst tracks such as Kids and Time To Pretend were very much of their time, Little Dark Age is a little more futuristic. Opener She Works Out Too Much is more 1988 than 2018, and could quite easily give all those TV personality exercise videos a run for their money.

Eponymous track Little Dark Age is the space age overlord of the record. Skulking about like a sly villain that is surprisingly adept at playing a synthesiser. When You Die is more saviour of time and space, which as a standalone comment makes no sense whatsoever; but there is a real 80s sic-fi show storyline that can be inferred throughout this record. The lyrics to this track are pretty violent, dressed up in a harmless melody that is actually quite a disturbing juxtaposition when paid attention to.

Both TSLAMP and James continue the zoned out intergalactic theme further, with downplayed vocals begging the question of whether or not MGMT still want to be in the music game? Indifference can be a beautiful creative tool sometimes, but use it too heavily and band’s run the risk of convincing their audience that not a single care is given anymore. Sadly for MGMT, this record errs a little too much on the empty cup of care side.

The album concludes with Hand It Over, a small restorative semblance of vague normality to the MGMT universe. It’s considered which brings out a sultry side never quite seen from MGMT before. If Little Dark Age was a journey through space, then these closing moments are the contemplative trip back to Earth.

Long gone are the days of MGMT making indie anthems that will go on to define an entire generation, but that was never their intention in the first place. Little Dark Age needs your time and effort paid to it in order for it to be truly appreciated as a body of work. It’s ideal to put on when the only remedy to the world is to zone out for a brief period. Let MGMT be your audio muscle relaxant as you float through the eternity of space.