Asked to explain his group’s decision not to pull any singles from Congratulations, MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser gave the we’re-better-than-that excuse.
“We’d rather people hear the whole album as an album and see what tracks jump out rather than the ones that get played on the radio.”
Put like this, the group’s choice to skip the singles comes off like a snook-cock to a conservative musical establishment.
The truth, though, is that Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden are just cutting their losses by not overselling a record that falls comically short of expectations.
Essentially, Congratulations is Oracular Spectacular with the good bits taken out, a thin, laboured and hook-free muddle of pseudo-psych sonics, weedy vocals and dismal in-jokes.
The closest thing to a decent song is the almost uptempo Flash Delirium.
Goldwasser’s desire looks optimistic: getting to the end of Congratulations in one sitting is a deeply wearying ordeal.