Little Dark Age


aec.sny547605.2 2/9/18 New

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    Little Dark Age Columbia

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Review Text After hitting it very big with their debut album and the song "Kids," MGMT dedicated themselves to making albums that would confuse and annoy people looking to hear more expansive, radio-friendly tunes like "Kids." Both 2010's Congratulations and 2013's self-titled record were informed by Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden's love of obscure psychedelia, oddball lyrics, and off-kilter strangeness. That they called in Sonic Boom to produce the former and Flaming Lips cohort Dave Fridmann to helm the latter says a lot about where the duo's minds resided. They weren't looking to top the charts, they wanted to do something weirder. By the time they started making their fourth album, the band had seen some changes and their record label was allegedly upset they couldn't write another "Kids." Whether it was the band's idea or the label's, Fridmann found himself teamed with a co-producer known for making radio friendly alt-pop, Chairlift's Patrick Wimberly. The result, 2018's Little Dark Age, sports a slicker sound that's easy to slot into a playlist, with restrained drums, glossy synths, and poppy melodies. This approach is offset by the band's still-present desire to be very weird, as shown by the goofy sound effects on "When You Die," the spoken word sections of "She Works Out Too Much," or the trippy vocals of "James." When they balance the two competing desires, the album comes into its own, like on "When You Die" -- which sounds like macabre and spooky indie pop lifted from Daniel Treacy's diary, then given a modern polish -- or on the huge "One Thing Left to Try," which booms like the best stadium new wave with its fat synths and an almost shouted vocal. ~ Tim Sendra

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. She Works Out Too Much - 5:38
  2. 2. Little Dark Age - 5:59
  3. 3. When You Die - 4:23
  4. 4. Me and Michael - 5:49
  5. 5. TSLAMP - 5:30
  6. 6. James - 4:52
  7. 7. Days That Got Away - 5:44
  8. 8. One Thing Left to Try - 4:20
  9. 9. When You're Small - 4:30
  10. 10. Hand It Over - 4:13

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