MGMT’s new album up to par with previous releases

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The psychedelic music gods are at it again. After a three year hiatus MGMT released Optimizer a 10 track album that will leave you putting it on repeat.

Critics have claimed that their Optimizer sounds too much like their other songs, because most of it features a swirling synthesizer background noise; however, the guitar and lyrics about complicated subjects are a completely new twist for MGMT. The band does not seem to worry about sounding mainstream or simplifying their music to sound like the popular hits of today, they stay true to themselves, which is one reason why I greatly respect them.

If the beat of a song is what you focus on and you tend to tune out on the vocals, then this is not the album for you. MGMT’s lyrics are a main aspect of what makes them such a good band. MGMT channels Pink Floyd’s album A Saucerful of Secrets from 1968 with “Cool Song No. 2” and “Introspection”.

The lyrics of the songs, particularly “Your Life is a Lie,” are deep and definitely something to pay attention to because they speak about being human. The lyrics delve into the fact that as humans we often put on a facade that we are happy even when we are suffering. The different verses describe loss of friends, divorce and the fact that your life is only your own, and no one will be there to help you forever. MGMT has a way of symbolizing the hidden loneliness we all face, and they do so while blending great guitar playing and even better synthesization.

Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser, the lead guitarists/vocalists, did not disappoint with this album. I was impressed. When I heard it was coming out I was extremely surprised due to the fact they had not produced anything for three years, and it left me wondering what they would even sound like on this new album.

At first I agreed with critics that they might try and come up with a more mainstream sound but when I got Optimizer online on Sept. 13 I was satisfied and a few songs on the album are already in my phone’s most listened to playlist. While this album was great, it did not compare to earlier albums. The group came close with “Alien Days” and “Your Life is a Lie” but “Electric Feel”, “Kids” and “Time To Pretend” from earlier albums will always be my favorites.

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