MGMT ON WAY TO MCPA

It’s not easy to categorize MGMT. The surprising duo, which crafts an amalgam of psychedelic, new wave-tinged, avant pop-rock, is unlike most of its peers.     MGMT, which will perform Sunday at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, is witty ala the Pet Shop Boys. The group can be as ironic as Pavement. And perhaps most significant, the group is sonically adventurous and restless.       MGMT is out behind its second release, ‘Congratulations.’ The disc is a departure from its inventive 2007 debut, ‘Oracular Spectacular.’       “We try to keep things interesting,” vocalist-guitarist Andrew VanWyngarden said. “There’s no need to repeat ourselves.”         MGMT, which also includes vocalist-keyboardist Ben Goldwasser, have taken big steps with ‘Congratulations.’ The disc doesn’t include immediate synth-driven singles ala the ultra-catchy ‘Kids’ and ‘Electric Feel.’      It takes a few spins to understand what MGMT went after while crafting ‘Congratulations.’ The wall of sound production is full of deeper and more atmospheric tracks, many of which are compelling and complex.      “I think this is a pretty direct and straightforward (album),” VanWyngarden said. “It’s kind of soulful and definitely different from the last album.”        Where MGMT was when making its sophomore effort is definitely different than where the act was when crafting its debut. Back in 2007, the tandem fresh out of college, poked fun at the excesses of pop stardom. But a year into its initial tour, MGMT was part of the world it had poked at during its early days.       “It’s true,” VanWyngarden said. “We became the people we made fun of. But who could have foreseen what was going to happen to us?  Why not enjoy it? We’re young, on the road, doing well, so, yes, we’re going to party and have a good time. Who wouldn’t do that if there were in our shoes? We did have fun but that’s not what we’re about. The music matters to us more than anything. It might sound trite but that’s the truth. The fame and what goes along with it is just a byproduct.”        Expect VanWyngarden and Goldwasser to step out as MGMT and produce. The tandem were behind the board for ‘Congratulations.’       “We really had fun with that,” VanWyngarden  aid. “The first album we worked with (producer) Dave (Fridmann) and it was a co-production. We knew what we wanted to do with that album but this time, we took another step.  We controlled the sound and shape of the songs.  We would both like to produce (other artists). But we also want to focus on this (MGMT) and challenge ourselves with each album. We want this to continue to grow.”

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