Little Dark Age by MGMT

Hype is a bitch. I distinctly remember the hype surrounding 2018's Little Dark Age, as friends collectively shit themselves over it being a "return to form" for wandering experimental electronic duo MGMT. Admittedly, every single one of the teasers off this thing is a bop-and-a-half, and it's no surprise that they're the best tracks here. Some 80s new wave revivalism ("Little Dark Age"), a touch of acid rock ("When You Die"), and big, buttfucking hooks—surely if every track was as good as those, this would be one of the records of the year, right? Well...not every one can be like "Me and Michael" is all I'm saying.

The one word that comes to mind with Little Dark Age is "inconsistent". Inconsistent songwriting, for one, with a lot of the back end of the record being completely throwaway (sans the dreamy come down of "Hand it Over"), but also inconsistent tone. The duo desperately want to be both jokers and culture vultures, but talking about being on your phone too much, especially in the plain language used here, just does not work with the nostalgiamined instrumental. There's a couple of random, tone-deaf political moments too ("policemen swear to God, love seeping from the guns" on the title track is cringe) that really make you wish the duo would stick to the nonsense words they usually use. Worth it for the singles only. Don't believe the hype.

Little Dark Age

Essential: "When You Die", "Me and Michael", "Hand it Over"
Quintessential: "Little Dark Age"
Non-essential: "TSLAMP"

Rating: Good
Listen on Spotify