Music Review: MGMT, “Oracular Spectacular” (Columbia) * * * 1/2
From its first few seconds, MGMT’s “Oracular Spectacular” boasts both the comfort of the familiar and the shock of the new. Producer Dave Fridmann’s signature grandeur booms out of the speakers on “Time to Pretend,” a propulsive dance-rock explosion that begins with decadent Hollywood plans that quickly fall by the wayside when Andrew Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser opt for simple pleasures. “Oracular Spectacular” is filled with such pleasures: batty lyrics and straight-from-heaven melodies arrive on cue as MGMT finds a cushy middle ground between futuristic psychedelia, whacked-out disco and the experimental hinterlands of classic rock.
Given Fridmann’s involvement, a Flaming Lips comparison might seem too easy. In fact, MGMT’s big, bright and beautiful noise closely resembles a freshened-up Mercury Rev — tanned, rested and ready to get down. “Electric Feel” is an immediate favorite, a gloriously throbbing disco anthem that the Brothers Johnson would have begged to record, but only if they’d spent the previous week freaked out of their gourds at Burning Man.
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