Staying relevant in the world of indie rock can go one of two ways: continue to completely own the standard, or work as hard as you can to make something unique but still adheres to what you'd expect from the genre. MGMT get weird on Little Dark Age, trying to be original with their indie sound but falling a bit off the mark.
No one track on Little Dark Age is too similar, which helps MGMT really explore a lot of different sounds. Opening track 'She Works Out Too Much' brings the album to an odd start, preparing you for the strangeness yet to come. It feels like a satire of the modern world, a woman's voice cheerful shouting "Are you ready to work out" before the song really gets to its start. An odd track, but a fitting one to start things off. Its not alone in its oddity; other tracks like the swampy, odd sounds of 'Days That Got Away' and the jagged, dejected 'When You're Small' that just screams of an Ariel Pink influence also pair with it, though not quite as successfully.
Little Dark Age is all about being different, as if to comment on the future. At times it can be a bit much, but most of the time the creativity comes off pretty well. 'TSLAMP' does it the best on the record, it's cheerful and groovy melodies giving way to some very spidery guitar work that really captures you. Other songs play with expectations, like the cheerful 'When You Die' that, when you listen to the lyrics, takes on a much darker meaning. A similar sad nostalgia can be found in the words 'Me and Michael.' The opposite comes from 'One Thing Left To Try,' a song with an almost carnival-like tone that's uplifting in all aspects, so much so that it makes you question whether or not that's the song's true intent. MGMT really makes sure you're thinking while listening through this record.
Weirdness in music is what helps it progress. Innovation is the future of any idea or topic, and music is no exception. That being said, sometimes it's easy to get carried away. MGMT get weird on Little Dark Age, delivering thought-provoking songs that in their oddity have lots of depth, but at times perhaps a bit too much to keep you fully invested.
Favorite Track: TSLAMP
Least Favorite Tracks: Days That Got Away, When You're Small
Rating: 70 / 100
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