Wild Mercury Sound

MGMT and forthcoming attractions

John Mulvey

A bit of a rush today, since we're trying to finish the next issue of Uncut. But I've been revisiting the MGMT record that turned up last year, and which features fairly prominently in the New Brooklyn Bands feature in the current issue.

I must admit that I'm not completely sold on the whole album, "Oracular Spectacular", but the single, "Time To Pretend", is excellent: a snarky, syrupy cosmic pop trifle that recasts The Flaming Lips as jaded young hipsters rather than mature humanists.

"Time To Pretend" is a wry, cutely quotable pisstake of rock star ambition, with Andrew VanWyngarden claiming, "Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives. I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars," before briefly mourning a loss of childhood innocence and wanting his mummy.

There are a lot of shifting planes of irony and ambivalence here, and I'm sure plenty of bands will probably take, "This is our decision to live fast and die young, we've got the vision, now let's have some fun," as a manifesto rather than an indictment. MGMT - it's pronounced 'Management', apparently - would probably argue that you can have fun while being aware of the process, which is fair enough. I'm going to get very irritated by this song after a few dozen more plays, but for now - fittingly for a record predicated on the idea of subverting transient, shallow, pop posturing - it works.

Next week, by the way, I should get round to writing about the Elbow record, which I can hear even now drifting into the office from NME next door, plus there's some rumour that we may hear the Portishead album which, if the post-ATP stories are to be believed, should be interesting.


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