Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Album Reflection: "Oracular Spectacular" - MGMT


I decided to reflect on one of my favorite albums as my first blog post; Oracular Spectacular by MGMT.  I remember buying this a couple of years ago.  I initially heard "Time to Pretend" on satellite radio and instantly fell in love with MGMT.  The next day I went to Target and bought this album.  It was the first album I really loved and it was my first step into the world of Alternative music.  So, without further adieu, here's my first reflection on MGMT's first album.

Being MGMT's first album, it set a standard for MGMT.  The album starts with the song "Time to Pretend" and definitely sets the mood.  It's very upbeat and reminded me of summer and of my childhood memories.  The song has one of the catchiest rifts I've heard played on some weird type of synthesizer and contains fun and imaginative lyrics.  It seems to describe a person's early youth.  He's young, naive, and enjoys playing pretend.  The next song is "Weekend Wars" which is also a very good song.  It also contains a psychedelic feel and creative lyrics like "Time to Pretend", but it has a different mood.  It's not as upbeat and happy as "Time to Pretend", but it seems rebellious in a way.  I don't fully understand the lyrics, but it seems to me that the youth from "Time to Pretend" is rebelling against something through this song.  Maybe he saw all the war and disaster in the world and decided to take a stand against it.  Anyway, "The Youth" is the third track and sounds very optimistic.  The lyrics say "The youth is starting to change, are you starting to change, are you together?"  It seems like MGMT is following up a song about war and disaster with a song that brings hope.  Even though the world is in a crisis, the youth is full of love and is turning away from the older generation's mistakes.  After "The Youth" are the songs "Electric Feel" and "Kids".  Both of these songs are very catchy and some of MGMT's most popular songs.  "Electric Feel" sounds like a disco/surf song and "Kids" is more like an anthem.  In "Kids", MGMT seems to try and teach the youth some basic life lessons such as control.  "4th Dimensional Transition" is definitely one of the most psychedelic songs on the whole album.  It features a unique percussion rhythm that really creates the mood of the song.  After this song is "Pieces of What".  This song seems to go back to the message of "Weekend Wars".  The song opens with lyrics that state, "When the world has turned...past the point of love."  It seems that the attempts of the youth have fallen to pieces and war has still broken out in the world.  "Of Moons, Birds, & Monsters" follows "Pieces of What" and seems to say that you can still affect your future and make choices that will impact your future.  Andrew sings, "If your ship will never come, you gotta move along."  By this he means that the youth have to move past their failed intentions and move along.  This song seems like a motivation for the new generation to try again.  "The Handshake" follows next and has a very catchy, but strange ending that talks about having a handshake under a tongue.  In an interview, Andrew stated that the song was about MGMT signing with a major record label (Sony).  However, the lyrics may also have a hidden meaning.  This song hints that the new generation made a deal with someone big.  This could possibly be a country, president, or someone else, but either way, they seemed to have succeeded because they "shook the handshake".  The lyrics also suggest that the youth learned from their experiences because they're not going to "let them take everything they can steal."  The album ends with the song "Future Reflections" and it seems to me that the youth is now looking back on his life.  He looks back and remembers various events, but doesn't seem to know if what he did was right.  He says, "If it's good, or if it's fortune, I can't tell, but pieces come together for some reason just as well."  In the end, he realizes that the pieces did come together at the end and the world is in a better state.

Well, there's my first album review.  I definitely wrote more then I thought I would, but I definitely think I realized a meaning to "Oracular Spectacular".  You may not agree with me, but I think this album is about the journey of a youth who tries to change the world and somehow succeeds.  It all sounds like a weird subject to write an album about, but hey, MGMT isn't known for being normal.  Anyway, thanks for reading.

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