Oracular Spectacular is the debut studio album by the American band MGMT, released on October 2, 2007, by RED Ink and physically on January 22, 2008, by Columbia. It was produced by Dave Fridmann and is the band's first release of new content, being recorded from March to April 2007. Promotion for the album started as early as June 2007, when the song "Weekend Wars" was given away in summer issues of free monthly magazine Nöjesguiden in Stockholm, Sweden. Matching CDs could be picked up for free in all stores in three different shopping malls around Stockholm from June 26 to July 31. The album was also promoted with three singles: "Time to Pretend", "Electric Feel" and "Kids". Both "Time to Pretend" and "Kids" were re-recorded for the album; they were originally included on the band's previous release Time to Pretend (2005), with the opening track serving as a "mission statement" and the theme continuing through the album's subsequent tracks. Although Oracular Spectacular never sold more than 17,000 units in a week, at least 2,000 copies per week were sold during the period from January 2008 through April 2010. The album received positive reviews from critics, who lauded its production style, musical direction and composition. It was nominated for the International Album award at the 2009 Brit Awards. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 494 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.Wikipedia
Music history is replete with youthful innovators with a deep understanding of past music, displaying a sophisticated command of the genres they were working in. The duo behind MGMT, Andrew Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, are not that. Rather, they are clever debutantes, skimming along the surface of the last 50 years of pop music, plucking a bit of glam there, a touch of Prince there, a little disco there, some electronica here, a scintilla of psychedelia there, and weaving all these disparate elements into bright, summery pop music. They have an equal partner in Dave Fridmann, whose taste and firm hand on the keel is much appreciated. Fridmann balances analog and digital textures beautifully, and I didn't spot one single horrible synth patch, a small miracle in 2007. Another impressive aspect of Oracular Spectacular is that the duo composed all of the tunes, played all of the instruments, and did all of the arrangements. When I looked up the album on discogs, I fully expected to see session musicians. While Wyngarden and Goldwasser would never be mistaken for virtuosos on their instruments, between them they are competent on drums, keyboards, guitars and bass, at the very least. It doesn't stop there. The pair use their voices intelligently, sometimes going for mellifluence, sometimes a Bowie-esque whine, and still others a Prince-like falsetto. Their tunes are both catchy and display a keen understanding of pop songcraft. The tunes don't always develop in predictable ways. There are surprise changes in tempo, key, and time signatures. And their arrangements are canny, combining the old and the new harmoniously. The music on Oracular Spectacular may be light, fun pop, but there is quite a bit of skill under the hood. This kind of light pop really isn't my kind of thing, but MGMT and Dave Fridmann have done a great job with the concept and material.
This might be blasphemous, but fuck it - there are shades of David Bowie in here. The hits are here, but the deeper cuts are infinitely listenable. Just an enjoyable album front to back. Best track: Kids
Takes me back to the days when I worked at Subway and would mop the nasty floors jamming to MGMT
I can't get on board with management. Bunch of boring clean shirts in their ties and polished shoes. Probably get home and expect their tea to be on the table. A downtrodden wife, who's been slaving away all day and doesn't even get a "thanks". A cottage pie, a cheap bottle of plonk and five minutes of miserable missionary. Makes me sick.
Tie-dye bandana hype. I couldn't get on board with the music (or the tie-dye) at the time, and I still don't get it now. Three absolute monster hits and a lot of really dreary filler. Rehashing all the shit parts of the 1970s in a knowing hipster way for the 2000s generation, great.
Oracular Spectacular?....Craptacular more like it.
I like adverts they make me buy lots of things to impress my friends and work colleagues
1. Time To Pretend: This sounds familiar. Oh I know this!!! I love the sound. I relate to this so much. It’s a little sad at the end. I get the existential nihilism but I hope they change their mind over the album. I love the… synths?… in the background. 2. Weekend Wars: Ugh I love this whole sound. “my predictions are the only things I have” is hell of a lyric. “There’s a reason I don’t win, I don’t know how to begin” 3. Youth: This makes me sad knowing they are probably mid millennials now. Every generation thinks it’s gonna change the world doesn’t it? Or maybe this is about growing up and taking your parents generations place as the adults in the world? This album feels very like “is growing up worth it?” This has a trance-y hypnotic feel because of all the repetition. 4. Electric Feel: I think this song is about the industrial revolution? Or the information (internet)/ technological revolution. They have a lot of repeating musical motifs throughout this album kind of like you notice in Broadway. Oh I love this flute part or whatever is. It sounds kind of Norwegian? Or something like that? Like I’d hear it in Frozen. 5. Kids: Everyone knows this song. I think Gossip Girl or something used it. Crazy how it was huge years after the album came out. I was obsessed with this once. Oh the famous “a family of trees wanted to be haunted” lyric that no one knows what it means but it’s provocative. Really gets the people going. Is this about growing up? Love the instrumental breakdown it’s gorgeous. Growing up and having to take responsibility? Unsure. 6. 4th Dimensional Transition: Pretty sure this is just about sex but it sounds really cool and the metaphors are interesting. I guess not committing though. The outro is so gorgeous. 7. Pieces of What: This sounds somewhat country but weirder. This has a lot of pathos. Not sure why. Idk I’m super into this it makes me feel nostalgic for something I’ve never known. 8. Of Moons, Birds, and Monsters: This is weird af but it sounds cool. What’s it about? Idk. I hear a lot of Lorde in this. I wonder if MGMT is one of her influences. Outro is so good. 9. The Handshake: This has to be the selling out song. MGMT’s hotel California. It’s such a cool song. All over the place like several songs stitched together but haunting and foreboding. 10. Future Reflections: I don’t know what this is about. Modernity maybe. But it’s gorgeous. Oracular means: relating to an oracle/hard to interpret/enigmatic/ utterance that seems to come from special inspiration or authority/prophetic Spectacular: beautiful in a dramatic or eye-catching way/ an event such as a pageant or musical, produced on a large scale and with striking effects/striking, sensational, notable for size or beauty Oracular Spectacular is a perfect name for this album. (Future Nostalgia could never) I love this. It’s like a perfect listening experience in the same way that melodrama is. And I feel like you probably pick up more and more on subsequent listens. This is going on my album rotation. Curious to see where the band went from here. 2nd listen: 1. Such a good opening track for a debut 2. I guess I just like trippy-ish music. This sounds Beatles-ish meets solar power Lorde but that might be boss baby syndrome. I just am into the vocals and the atmosphere. 3. This gets a little sinister cultish sounding towards the end? But I like it? It’s like yay! Growing up! Oh wait. Growing up. Or it’s starts out good intentioned but ends up really sinister. 4. I fucking love this song. Everyone says it’s about sex or ahuayasca but I still think it’s about technological innovation/Revolution and how it changed the world and how we felt about it at the start (before we knew the consequences) and the band straight up said it’s about electricity 5. If you don’t/didnt like this song at some point you have superpowers. But in context of the album (which seems very reluctantly coming to grasps with coming into adulthood both as an individual and a generation and a human race) it fits so well. I love love the bridge part. Second half of the album is apparently controversial about if it holds up to the first half. 6. This is the sex/drugs song though clearly. It has no hook but it’s atmospheric af. 7. I just really like this. I’ve never heard anything else like it. It’s like a trippy fucking Jack Johnson song or something but make it country on lsd. Love the beat pick up at the end. 8. I just love the instrumentals of this. Can’t make out the lyrics at all really. 9. I never get tired of the songs about selling out for fame. They’re always so sinister and cool. The handshake under our tongue being a reference to hiding pills under your tongue instead of taking them is clever af though / the whistling at the end is so eerie. 10. Is that an organ? Or an organ sounding synth? The vocals on this are higher in the mix then anything else. The end reminds me of something more recent. It’s like a trippy oceanic feeling. I really loved this album. I might change the tracklist order eventually but there are no skips.
Nostalgia clouded rating! This album (and more specifically "Kids") was ubiquitous when I was doing snowboard seasons. I subsequently listened to this album a lot and have grown to love it. It makes fun noises!
Pleasingly proggy, I wish I'd listened to it sooner.
Really great record. Some classic naughties singles. Fantastic production throughout
There were some songs on this album that brought back a lot of memories. MGMT sounded familiar but wow those songs were really popular. They're also the best songs on the album, however. Some of the songs are a bit boring but songs like Electric Feel mostly make up for it and maybe it's partially because I recognize them but Time to Pretend, Electric Feel, and Kids are great. That being said, the lyrics are pretty weak throughout the whole album and the production sounds a bit washed out even on my favorite songs. Plus the end of the album is really weak and I skipped several songs on the album on the second listen. The good songs are good but there aren't enough of them to justify a 4th star. Favorite Songs: Time to Pretend, Electric Feel, Kids Least Favorite Song: The Handshake Decent 6/10
The rest of the album doesn't hold up to Time to Pretend, Kids and Electric Feel, but those three are fucking huge tunes...although were played to death a bit at the time. Let's shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars, I suppose.
dog shit. psych music is probably my most listened to genre so its nothing to do with genre, its because its just fucking shite. i feel dirty classifying it as psych, its like an instagram version of being wavy. like some teenager wearing a tie die t shirt and saying 'far out maaaan'.
Elite level singles. Pure hype beyond that. Even worse than I remembered, no nostalgia bump at all here. The lyrics are shockingly poor. Aimed for left field indie-psych, ended up with advert music.
hipster supermarket music
2007: Time To Pretend, Kids, The Youth
One of the best albums of our time. I always come back to it.
His best album
great synth sounds
One of my all-time favourites!
This is my jam. Will always love MGMT
Phenomenal light-pop synth album. I think they’re considered ground-breaking but it doesn’t matter I enjoyed it.
classic MGMT. reminds me of nostalgic college days. energetic and bright.
I'm not sure what my pandemic life has become, but randomly being given a great album I'm very familiar with - is a total bright spot in my day. The first two songs are a fucking knock-out. Both of these songs are a wonder on their own, and give you these little pockets of joy and exquisite noise. It's like how I describe marrying my wife, all of life became so much more and I was transformed into a new and better person. It's like that with MGMT, i can't imagine a world existing without discovering this band and this album. Like the music and melodies always existed and organically came to the surface to make me smile. I enjoy this very much, along with their follow up album. Nothing more to say, essential and five stars.
One of my favorite bands. Congratulations is better, but this is a solid debut
Was hard to pick a favorite!
Fuckin solid obviously
AUTOMATICAMENTE 5 ESTRELAS Mesmo que só gostasse das que já conhecia, só pela nostalgia, já daria 5 estrelas, mas não foi o caso
Great 2000's album, reminds me a lot of my teenage years. So danceable, fun grooves now I remember why they were the big deal back in the day.
12 years on and still quality
No questions one of my fav adolescence album
Dank Moritz herausragender Urlaubs-Playlisten kenne ich ziemlich viele der Songs aber ich wusste nicht, dass die sich alle auf einem großartigen Album befinden. Hit!
Ohne es erneut zu hören, weiß ich, dass ich das Album liebe.
So viele coole Songs, die sowohl als Album, als auch Solo funktionieren. Die synthi-rock Kombi, der teilweise 80er Hall. Nice!
Un disco bien hilado, muy bien hecho, como una mezcla de rock viejito y un sonido más dosmiles, y el hilo conductor es una especie de nostalgia muy relatable.
YOOOOOOO I already know the first song and love it. This is gonna be a good album. I know song #4 too?! Love it. #5 is the same album, too?! Bet. Love this music, automatic 5 for me. Don't even have to finish the album to know that.
Byl nieznany pick, to musiala lista zbalansowac czyms co kojarzy chyba kazdy, bo oracular spectacular, to pierwszy album wydany przez powazna wytwornie, w tym wypadku columbia records, zawiera jedne z najbardziej popowych i chwytliwych trakow jakie slyszalem, wiec nie jest dziwne, ze gdy puscilem ten album w samochodzie, to nawet osoby amuzyczne od razu kojarzyly kawalek po pierwszych nutkach, reklama dupla sprzed 10 lat zrobila robote, no i samplowatosc tego materialu, bo sporo murzynow pozyczalo ich beaty, jak nipsey i call from the bank, sporo tez colabowali, moim ulubionym colabem w tym wypadku bedzie spotkanie z kid cudim i ratatatem na pursuit of happiness z czlowieka na ksiezycu 2k09, ale nie jest to w zadnym razie poczatek muzyzkowania dla duetu andrewa vanwyngardena i bena goldwassera, bo chlopaki ktore spotkaly sie na uniwerku i juz graja od 2k02, wiec troche im zajelo sprzedanie sie, przed oracularem spectacularem wydali jeden epek, z ktorego pochodza dwa najwieksze hity oraculara, kids i time to pretend, ktory jest takze tytulem epka i tak samo jak na tej plycie otwiera material, ale jak otwiera, przejscie z time to pretend do oraculara, to zpopowanie swojego brzmienia z nastawieniem na jak najwiekszy sukces komercyjny, cel jak widac zostal osiagniety i plyta jest na liscie, ten album pokazuje, ze nawet psychodeliczne liryki da sie sprzedac, jesli odpowiednio popracuje sie nad brzmieniem, bo to wlasnie ten aspekt najbardziej odroznia pierwszy epek i plyte, jeszcze mocniej synthami, wokale zmodulowane efektami do granic mozliwosci tak aby blendowaly sie z melodia, nie zostalo to za duzo z surowosci wokalowych epki, a to wszystko zeby sie sprzedac, gdybym nie znal calej dyskografii MGMT, to zalozylbym, ze nastepne numery pojada przetartym szlakiem i beda nastawione na jak najwieksze slupki, a sprawa wyglada calkiem inaczej, bo zarowno congratulations jak i eponimowy album sa powrotem do bardziej rokowego brzmienia z mniejszym wykorzystaniem synthow i opartymi na czystych dzwiekach instrumentalnych, bo zapomnialbym wspomniec, ze obaj czlonkowie duetu, to multi instrumentalisci, wiec jesli chodzi o wykorzystane dzwieki calosc byla tworzona przez duet, az dziwne ze album z jednymi z najbardziej popowych trakow w historii jest jednoczesnie jednym z moim ulubionych, stoi za tym kompozycja plyty, pierwsza czesc krazka jest wypakowana do granic mozliwosci hitowymi trakami, to jest 5 kawalkow, od szostego, nazwanego 4th dimensial transition album calkowicie zmienia swoje obliczne i pokazuje, ze MGMT to jednak indyjski rock, a nie sam pop, to tak jakby wydac dwa epki na jednej plycie i ta strona ktora ma sprzedac plyte jest stworzona z zrecyklingowanego materialu juz wczesniej wykorzystanego na time to pretend, natomiast od drugiej strony bije orginalnosc brzmienia, bardziej konserwatywne podejscie do chanelow, jak pieces of what, ktory daje mocno monowe viby, zwlaszcza w koncowce, gdzie na prawym kanale dostajemy wokal, natomiast basy i drumy na lewym, cos niezbyt popowego, ale kto dojdzie do tego momentu, jak na spotifaju, pierwsza strona oscyluje pomiedzy 300-500 milionow odtworzen, a druga strona pomiedzy 9-15 miliona, dopiero takie porownanie dobrze ukazuje to o czym pisalem, dlatego wlasnie jest to jeden z moich ulubionych albumow, ktore ciezko przypisac do konkretnego gatunku, bo tworcy pokazuja, ze potrafia grac cokolwiek w zaleznosci od tego czy chca sprzedac material lub tez grac co im lezy, na plejce juz mam cala pierwsza strone, wiec teraz wypadaloby dodac takze cos z drugiej, a wybor padl na piecies of what i zamykajacy material reflections, a cala plyta leci do spoti biblioteczki gdzie jej miejsce
Beautiful, complex, and apparently a band I've heard a lot of before despite not recognizing the name.
Super fun album, perfect for many many movie soundtracks and why wouldn’t it be. It somehow sounds nostalgic for not a specific time in history but for a time in everyone’s lives which I just think is neat
There is no question that Time to Pretend, Electric Feel and Kids are incredibly well written and perfectly executed pop masterpieces that embody the neon soaked electro stylings of the pre '10s Myspace era, but I couldn't help feeling a twinge of cringe when I heard Kids as a direct result of hearing it over and over and over for the past 15 years. When consideration is given to the entire album you realise that MGMT are a highly complex organism that are able to shift from bright accessible electronica into the realm of deep, dark psychedelia with very little warning. Everything from Fourth Dimensional Transition onwards (literal nod to the album's change of pace?) makes it seem as if as if Side 1 and Side 2 were written for completely different audiences. The Handshake is easily my highlight, would love to listen to it in a float tank. This album is clear proof that a band can be far more than their often flogged singles. Maybe the cringe was a result of my own ventures into hair straighteners and side fringes. In any case that time, space and place will live on forever in this album.
The nostalgia is strong with this one
Like a crap calculator user, this album presses a lot of buttons with unexpected results. Some masterpieces on here. Tossing up between 4 & 5, can’t punish it due to a lack of 4.5 option. 5 it is!
Own it, love it.
Love this album so much I didn't even bother listening again.
A ver, si es que tiene todos los temazos... (Voviendo a escribir en esta weá)
Love this album. Such a nostalgic listen, easy to see how influential this was on indie/alt music
One of my favorite albums of all time, every track is a hit. Still holds up. First time listening in probably 10 years.
This is a fantastic album. When I saw it I wondered whether my love of it was just nostalgia for the time but it is genuinely a great album. I remember when it came out it felt so cool and different to a lot of other stuff and the whole aesthetic of it felt so fresh.
Nostalgic stuff right here
I am super impressed. I remember the hits from high school, but the album as a whole is great work in this genre. Great melodies, catchy synth parts, varying rhythms. Great work! An example for Indie!
Com si d’un disc de vinil es tractés (l’obra es va publicar abans de l’arribada de la segona época dorada del vinil), el cd es composa de dos parts molt diferenciades. Les primeres cinc cançons són composicions pop perfectes, banda sonora ideal de la segona meitat dels 00’s, fresca i original, que ens transporta a tots els que la vam viure als millors moments d’aquells anys. La segona part és més densa, fosca i complexa, pista de per on anirien les coses en els següents dos discos del duet, abans que recuperessin la inspiració pop a ‘Little Dark Age’. No desmereix, però, i tot i estar lluny de l’efectisme meritori de la primera meitat, és la que aporta gran part de la vigència a llarg termini del disc
A familiar start that took me back to being a teenager, still a fantastic album after all these years.
Awesome album. They have such a cool sound, unique music!
Great album! Love me some MGMT!
Awesome album! Much more depth than I was expecting.
Yes and also yes
Never listened to this whole thing, find it very engaging
College nostalgia dictates that I give this 5 stars. But really there are some great songs on here. Electric Feel has been in my brain for 15 years
Weird. Messy. And most importantly, mind-blowing. These experiences are why I signed up for this project. This is a unique, unusual, and beautiful discovery for me. It's not easy to describe its sound, but I think the cover art tells a lot about it. Two seemingly hipster men on a beach, which is painted in a vibrant scheme of blue and purple. That perfectly sums up the album. It's hipster-ish, as some less enthusiastic people put it, yet it's oddly moving. It was like walking along a surreal beach built by those synth (?) riffs. It was like musical psychedelic trip, with a nice uplifting build-up. What happened to this type of music when artists like LANY and The Chainsmokers brought it to the mainstream in early 2010's? Whatever, I'm still glad that I discovered this gem. It might not be one of the best pop albums of the recent times, but it sure is the most mood elevating album that I have ever heard so far.
Of Moons, Birds & Monsters and Time to Pretend are the best songs of all time. The production is intricate and I'm so proud of the accomplishments being that this album was made 2006-2008.
This album has some of my favourite singles of all time and the album tracks are way better than they're usually given credit for.
already have it!
I love this so much!
Time to Pretend, Electric Feel i Kids przesuper, generalnie bardzo spoko album, chyba jedyny utwor ktory srednio mi sie podobal to of moons, birds & monsters.
This album is perfect. Absolutely one of the best albums of the 00s.
Still a great album. Time to Pretend and Electric Feel are my favourite tracks.
On paper, I shouldn't like MGMT. It's electronic indie-pop. But MGMT manage to avoid all of the pitfalls of their peers by creating compelling rhythms and melodies accompanied by fun and surprisingly coherent lyrics. This whole album was just a jam. Each successive track built a mood that I found compelling. By the end, I was involuntarily tapping my feet and bobbing my head. It's a great album.
I haven’t listened to this whole album before but have heard about it. It did not disappoint. Great album for such a weird and out there sound.
phenomenal. great listen when you want to feel relaxed and cool.
I have spent sooo much time with this album
J’aime beaucoup cet album. La fiin des années 2000 est importante selon moi. Elle marque un certain bouillonnement et un rajeunissement du rock. Cet album en est un bon exemple. Il a influencé bon nombre d’autres artistes comme Galaxie par exemple.
Great album. One of my favorites
Loved this album - really groovy and plenty of great hits. "Time to Pretend", "Electric Feel", "Kids" are all great. 8/10.
I've listened to this album extensively and love it beginning to end. Obviously electric feel and kids are standouts.
I’m so glad MGMT is here! I bought this album when it came out and felt like I was listening to the future. It still has that feel to me today. It was the brilliant song "Kids" that brought me to this album initially. But it was "Time To Pretend" made me realize this was something very special. The glitter-grunge feel was so unique, the lyrics so interesting. This remarkable debut album continues with a strongly cohesive sound but each song has its own style and special touches. If I needed an example of "groovy" from the 21st century, Oracular Spectacular would be a perfect choice.
A really fantastic surprise. I had no idea what to expect from this album. I loved how varied it was. From jazzy, Bill Wurtz-esque tracks to more traditional hip hop this album has it all and does it all impeccably.
The album reminded me of Jefferson airplane and psychedelic music with a modern twist.
Love MGMT! Great album!
One of those albums that is fun and fresh even after years of listening to it
Ovaj album mi je SPEKTAKULARAN od kak je izaso
I may be partial, but this album rocks.
Heavy Frontload on this one right here, but the frontload is so strong. I mean, for a solid 5 years at least this was the indie rock sound.