The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Nonsenses – MGMT: Little dark age (Columbia, 2018)

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Auténtico despropósito. Yo creo que estos dos se han propuesto hacernos creer que lo de su debut en 2008 fue el verdadero espejismo, y que su verdadera cara es la que han ido mostrando a lo largo de esta década, y que queda reflejada en este auténtico bodrio titulado Little dark age (2018). Algo así como el disco de un grupo de tributo a Depeche Mode, un trabajo falto de ideas, de frescura y de cualquier atisbo de creatividad o imaginación. Más que prescindible.

“Not all of this stuff is necessarily necessary. “One Thing Left to Try” sounds suspiciously like Empire of the Sun, and one of them is more than enough. Similarly, the album probably doesn’t need two songs about the evils of the hand-held internet. (In addition to “She Works Out Too Much,” we also get “TSLAMP,” or “Time Spent Looking at My Phone,” which, spoiler alert: They are none too pleased about it.) But the duo’s delight in sound itself is often infectious. The album is a riot of vintage synthesizers, dubby effects, and sumptuously gated snares, and they round out that ’80s fixation with just the right amount of psych-pop. Flangers flange, phasers phase, and the stereo panning spins like a Tilt-a-Whirl, but for once, the bells and whistles don’t drown out the songwriting.
While VanWyngarden’s lyrics have often strayed toward the impenetrable, here he’s more focused, settling into a dark mood that feels timely. Little Dark Age is an album about certainties dissolving. “Welcome to the shit-show/Grab a comfortable seat,” VanWyngarden sings in the very first song, pretty much summing up the second half of the current decade. It’s telling that the album’s most sing-along-friendly refrain is the rousing “Go fuck yourself!” of “When You Die.” Toward the end of the LP, “When You’re Small” makes a compelling argument for strategic downsizing: “When you’re small/You don’t have very far to fall.”
At this point, MGMT probably know a thing or two about the fear of falling. They seem to acknowledge as much on the closing “Hand It Over,” which, like Congratulations’ eponymous final song, is a kind of reckoning with their career, a self-aware snapshot of the whole complicated business of being MGMT. “If we lose our touch/It won’t mean much,” sings VanWyngarden, as if acknowledging their tenuous grasp on whatever brass ring the music industry once offered. The Beach Boys harmonies and Sgt. Pepper’s horns are familiar—it’s the first time on the album they sound like the old MGMT, really. “The joke’s worn thin,” he sings, early in the song, and, later, “The smart ones exit early.” It’s a long way from the rock-star fantasies of “Time to Pretend.” But if Little Dark Age is a new start, it’s a promising one” (Pitchfork)

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9 noviembre, 2018 - Posted by | Mgmt

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