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A few surfboards lean against a wall, along with a cue card from David Letterman, but none of the awards bequeathed them by their record label, magazines and global TV shows for their blockbuster album, Oracular Spectacular, seem to be in evidence.
"Those are in the bathroom," says Andrew Van Wyngarden, strickening before pointing near the toilet, where about a dozen plaques are lined up, some in the original bubble wrap.
The wonky, parping intro to breakthrough hit ‘Time To Pretend’ was everywhere and debut LP ‘Oracular Spectacular’ brought Andrew Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser storming into the limelight and to the top of NME’s Albums of the Year poll. The more experimental, odd and wickedly underrated offerings of 2010’s ‘Congratulations’ and 2013’s self-titled LP failed to ignite the same commercial flame and MGMT seemed relegated to early evening festival billings forevermore.
Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’ is keeping The X Factor‘s seemingly unstoppable chart dominancy charging ahead. And while a far greater number of American bands have emerged from the ’burbs, most have immortalized their upbringings as boring, dysfunctional, or authoritarian. Samuels finds out if psych-songsmiths MGMT have burned the bridge back to sanity—and pop—by entering a world of darkness and electronics with their third, self-titled LP. Above left to right: Andrew Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser Working-class clout has appeared at the heart of the Anglo-American conception of authenticity ever since the late seventies, when narratives of pop music’s blue-collar roots became a kind of common knowledge and the terms “middle class” and “suburban” became epithets.Five years and one commercial failure later, their self-titled third LP initially picks up where their last album—the Sonic Boom-produced ’s marked Side B moves beyond clever forays into psychedelic pop to a place more disorienting.