Oracular Spectacular

Studio Album by released in 2007
Oracular Spectacular's tracklist:
Time to Pretend
Weekend Wars
The Youth
Electric Feel
4th Dimensional Transition
Pieces of What
Of Moons, Birds & Monsters
The Handshake
Future Reflections

Oracular Spectacular review

Musician's main enemy

There is no easier thing than to blame a musician in plagiarism. It is a safe bet, kind of a life vest of a lazy critic – you can find something that sounds like something else almost in every song nowadays, especially if this song was taken from a debut album of a very young band. In fact, the adaptation of someone else's ideas is a pretty dangerous path to walk. Nobody can tell how many musicians failed to gain recognition because of that simple fact that their songs had too many influences of their musical idols. However, it's not a secret that influences come as the main driving force of something really worthy and unique. At first glance, the way that MGMT have chosen looks too standard. Disco, pop-rock and electronica – MGMT are not the authors of such a stylistic combination. But it couldn't prevent them from writing 10 perfectly crafted songs, which they have released under a title Oracular Spectacular. Strange as it may seem, but MGMT managed to achieve something really unique using simple and well-known ingredients.

MGMT sounds more like disco than rock music

In addition to above-listed stylistic descriptions of Oracular Spectacular it is worth mentioning that the record is also having an appreciable indie sounding. The production is very balanced, proper and even glamorous at times but still the album sounds in a pretty typical industrially-urban indie vein. Massive bit is slightly distorted, the shimmering keyboards interweave with different sonic layers, overtones, ticking, clicking and things alike and all this was put through a long chain of studio effects. Generally, it adds a sort of a mysterious, dreamy feel to the record. However, this psychedelic atmosphere looks more like a beautiful decoration rather than a foundation. Despite everything, MGMT have much more from disco than from rock music. You don't have to look far for good examples; in particular a track called Electric Feel reveals this very side of the band pretty well. Strongly pronounced, bouncy funky bass, monotonous mid tempo beat and supremely well-written pop melody. And all this is wrapped in attractive psychedelic atmosphere – such a combination sounds simple but really magnificent.

Oracular Spectacular is much bigger than just a catchy indie pop album

Despite that fact that most of MGMT's material sounds in the manner of classic blueprints of pop-rock or disco bands from 80's it always carries a fair share of novelty. Oracular Spectacular is something like an upgraded David Bowie. Disco motility and falsetto a la Bee Gees neighbor with a raw, synthesized drive and LoFi esthetics. Time To Pretend with its flaws of distorted keyboards or acoustically driven Weekend Wars, which gradually unfolds into a massive canvas of arrangements – are those very songs that reflect the essence of MGMT. Of course, it doesn't mean that the rest of the tracks sound bad, not at all, the album contains nothing that could be called filling material. But still, the uniqueness of MGMT's sound is expressed in the first tracks better than in any other part of the album. Oracular Spectacular is really close to be a perfect album, it has piles of great ideas that possess some sort of a hidden value, which can reveal itself only with the course of time. But on the other hand Oracular Spectacular is that very album you can fall in love with from the very first listen. In a word, this record is much bigger than just a catchy indie pop.

Max Rodrigues (19.03.2008)
Rate review4.70
Total votes - 360