The fourth album from the indie duo drops more than four years after their last release. MGMT have never managed to reach the heights of debut Oracular Spectacular, so it is with a pleasant surprise that we dive into Little Dark Age to hear something of the band we know and love.
We’re immediately met with distinctly 80s basslines and a synth-pop sound in ‘She Works Out Too Much.’ It gets you nodding your head, but there’s something darker about the chords and the lyrics too; it’s not just a silly dance track. Such is the case with most of the album. MGMT’s social commentary is set on top of listenable tracks sprinkled with moments of dissonance and chromaticism that turn your head and make your ears prick up – did he just say he was going to blow his brains out?
MGMT are not afraid to try out different sounds. ‘James’ is an obvious change of pace where we hear a much deeper voice adopted over a pure French horn and a delicate piano line. Splashes of funk appear in the album’s basslines. ‘When You’re Small’ has a largely acoustic sound with an exposed vocal line that shows a raw emotional vulnerability.
Little Dark Age may lack standout tunes in comparison to the rake of hits on Oracular Spectacular. However, there is a real sense of purpose to the album and with its darker sound, it simply isn’t the same old indie synth-pop.
In a nutshell: A fresh, forward sound from a band you might have forgotten about, and you’ll be sure to have a nice little boogie.