Review: ‘Little Dark Age’ Belongs in the Dark Ages


MGMT released their fourth album, “Little Dark Age,” Feb. 9, nearly five years since their eponymous flop, “MGMT.”

After previous disappointing albums, I didn’t have high hopes for this recent release. Although, not every song was a bust.

The last song on the album, “Hand It Over” made the whole listening experience worth it. The harmonizing gave me goosebumps.

As for the rest of the album, it was a whole lot of the same funky 1980s synth-pop accompanied by dark lyrics.

The album starts out with “She Works Out Too Much” and lyrics, “Welcome to the s— show.” And a s— show it was. The track was reminiscent of some one-hit wonders from the ’80s, flavored by the saxophone.

MGMT’s dismal attitude continues throughout and is especially relevant in “When You Die,” where lead vocalist, Andrew VanWyngarden, spits, “I won’t feel anything. We’ll all be laughing with you when you die.”

I was hoping for a change of pace midway through the album, but was greeted by a song criticizing the world for their addiction to phones with the track, “TSLAMP” (Time Spent Looking At My Phone). Really?

Of the “30 things that could be songs” that VanWyngarden commented on in an interview with Noisey about the creation of the record, how did this one make the cut?

In the same interview when asked if this record was easier or harder to make than the last, VanWyngarden commented, “It wasn’t as stressful. The last album felt like we were scraping hard to get somewhere. These songs came out quickly, which is a good feeling.” The songs may have come out quickly, but that’s most likely because they all sound the same.

Things took a turn for the better when “One Thing Left to Try” picked up the pace from the drab melodies of the previous songs. But all hope was lost with the Seussian, “When You’re Small,” which features just about every word you can possibly think of that rhymes with “small.”

“When you’re small / You can curl into a ball / When you’re small / No you’re not very big at all.”

And finally, the grand finale, “Hand It Over.” The song that made the whole album worth it.

The melodic beat and psychedelic harmonizing was the icing on the comeback album cake.

Despite the consolation prize I got with “Hand It Over,” the rest of the album fell short for me with the same old lyrics and same old boring sound.

I really wanted to like this album, MGMT. Maybe next time.

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