Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daily Nugget #18: MGMT, "Metanoia"

In anticipation of seeing MGMT live this week, I have been revisiting their small catalogue of hedonistic bounce-pop. On a recent visit to a record store, I notice several copies of their latest record, the awesome Congratulations, in the used bins, a sure sign that those who loved their relatively straightforward, catchy synth-driven Oracular Spectacular were not ready for the band's "difficult" second record. There were signs that they were heading down a weird path though, and I here present exhibit A, 2008's "Metanoia", a nearly 14-minute pastiche which I cannot decide whether to call a single or an EP (can one song be an EP?). It's art rock, I suppose, inasmuch as it contains several movements/passages/sections, but before you accuse them of going Yes or Tull or Mars Volta, keep in mind that they are probably aiming closer to the melodic epics of Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney; think "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", "Band On The Run", side two of Abbey Road, side two of Meddle (whose guitar sound they summon here), and even maybe a contemplative take on "Bohemian Rhapsody". Those wanting a repeat of "Time To Pretend" might not have the patience, but I think "Metanoia" (Greek for "changing one's mind") and the similarly epic and brilliant "Siberian Breaks" on Congratulations are expansive and kaleidoscopic, tune-worlds you can get lost in, at least for 15 minutes.

MGMT, "Metanoia":

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