If MGMT's first album in four years seems trippy, there's a good reason. One song was apparently created during an actual acid trip.
If that's what it takes to get the creative juices flowing for bandmates Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, we're fine with it. MGMT have once more delivered an off-kilter, challenging and very addictive album on "Little Dark Age."
The 10-track collection veers from cheeky ("She Works Out Too Much") to pitch-black ("When You Die"). There a general sense of unease in the lyrics, both socially and technologically, and the cover seems to riff off Edvard Munch's unnerving "The Scream."
The title track is the most likely to get mainstream traction, with its heavy synth waves that have a Kraftwerk feel. Other songs include "James," a blissed-out tune with French horn and plink-plink piano; "One Thing Left to Try," an ’80s throwback with tons of pop synth; and "Days That Got Away," which sounds like stumbling into a nightclub run by robots under the influence of MDMA.
VanWyngarden explores subject matter that's perfect for 2018: tech addiction. "I'm constantly swiping and tapping/ it's never relaxing," he sings in the opening song. Another standout track is "TSLAMP," which stands for Time Spent Looking at My Phone: "I'm wondering where the hours went," he admits.
Things take a more nasty turn with "When You Die," a bitter little ditty in which VanWyngarden promises "we'll all be laughing with you when you die." However, the album ends on a happier note with "Hand It Over," which has a Beach Boys feel.
By that time, you'll likely be exhausted, thrilled and spent — like encountering a contact high.