Review: Little Dark Age by MGMT

Little Dark Age by MGMTWhen I reviewed MGMT’s third, eponymous album, I described it as “a reboot of sorts”. Well, put up against Little Dark Age, that description is wrong. This is the reboot – definitely a reboot. It’s not the direction I expected them to take: it seemed they were content with being their weird little selves, at least musically. Now, we have an album that’s more or less streamlined synthpop – there’s a hint of their off-kilter nature running underneath, but for the most part, the record is streamlined synthpop. Perhaps inevitably, it’s a mixed record: for every track that channels the 80s (“Me and Michael”, “She Works Out Too Much”) there’s a track that feels like MGMT are busy catching up with the trend they perhaps accidentally founded, and not really knowing what to do with it. But at least we have a record that rewards the less devoted of listeners, that does not turn them away with what has turned out to be a genuine expression of creativity. Perhaps I shouldn’t call this a reboot, but rather a much-needed reckoning. [NB]3/5

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