"Oracular Spectacular"

(Red Ink/Columbia Records 2007)MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

MGMT are a band of musical chameleon of sorts. Melding the quirky spectacle of Mercury Rev with the poppy falsetto vocals of The Bee Gees' disco years, the Brooklyn duo's major label debut "Oracular Spectacular" is a smoky, bubbling mix of psychedelic indie rock with melodies you can sing along to. Provided, that is, you can hit all of those high notes.

Right from the get go MGMT let you know how things are going to be -- even if it is a bit tongue in cheek. "This is our decision to live fast and die young," they proclaim on "Time to Pretend" before making further pledges of model spouses and cocaine binges amidst infectiously bubbly melodics over a grinding undertone. On "Pieces Of What," MGMT pull out a loose, rough bluesy-country-rock sound that, much like other tracks on the album, is mellow and breezy. Thumping bass and clamoring drums help make "Electric Feel" into what sounds like could be a cover of one of the Gibb brothers' songs with all its falsetto buzz and bravado. Equally heavy on the weightless falsetto vocals, "The Youth" sees MGMT further manipulate their light sound into a super dreamy lullaby while the at first whimsical "The Handshake" builds to a full melodic chorus that sucks you in.

MGMT are no fools. In creating "Oracular Spectacular" they enlisted noted producer David Fridmann who just happens to also be the bass player for Mercury Rev. It is almost too obvious. But what could have easily been a boring album that is stuck in a rut becomes, under Fridmann and MGMT, a fluid and fantastical trip.


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