It doesn’t take a thrift shopping, vegan-eating, Marlboro smoking, über-hipster to know the indie group, MGMT. Their two most popular songs, “Kids” and “Electric Feel,” have been bumping from frat party speakers and road trip aux cords since 2007.
However, critics and fans alike have been putting heat on the group for ebbing their creative development. With no new albums or notable hits since 2013, the release of their 2018 album “Little Dark Age” spurred great trepidation.
Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser spawned a compilation of 10 songs that distinctly veered away from their past pop-electro sound. “Little Dark Age” presents the vibe of a 90s alternative music video with trippy animal animations and angsty singers crying into a microphone.
The opening song, “She Works Out Too Much,” establishes an undeniable connotation for the revamped band. Its jazz meets ‘80s pop aura sets MGMT apart from any relevant indie group today.
The song “James,” my personal favorite, brings you back to the coveted 1965 hippie phase of The Beatles. Just beware, VanWyngarden’s somber lyrics and tone can take a toll on your happiness.
At times, the album does swerve into the lane of the ultra-emo. “Hand it Over,” for example, becomes so monotone that you feel your dopamine levels plummeting with each verse. The lyrics also carry personal anguish pertaining to MGMT’s struggle to stay relevant in an ever changing industry.
There are four or five gems that will make a mark on the world of indie. Even though the album can be dismal time to time, those few gems rise to the occasion.
If you love, but are getting utterly unamused with, Butthole Surfers, Flaming Lips or Modest Mouse, “Little Dark Age” will be your symphonic saving grace.
While this album may not have what it takes to appear on a frat party queue, it will, no doubt, make a phenomenal late night drive or industrial coffee house playlist.
Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.