Monday, 13 January 2014

Musings about MGMT - Musical Heroes of a Lost Generation

MGMT is an interesting band for a mirade of reasons. Just today I was scouring the internet and revisiting the duo's early music which I adore. However, what caught my eye on account of if it being spread all over the internet was a 'riff' about the duo being bemused by success. It became apparent through a bit of reading that the pair were severely caught off guard by the maniac success of their first album "Oracular Spectacular". If you think about it does seem at odds with coherent thinking that two indie rockers would spawn 3 serious mainstay  anthem in modern times. No wonder the band was confused as well because they'd actually released runaway hit 'KIDS' 3 times prior to platinum sales of their so called 'debut album'. Fortunately the unassuming debut record by MGMT instead of becoming a commercial failure founded a place in the hearts of countless children worldwide as a very sought after record. 

Unfortunaetly there is a sadness tinged to the inspiring success of MGMT. As they became a band decidedly against grasping the power of music in their hands, unknowingly dealt to them by a dice roll of fate. It does seem resoundingly sad that the success of "Oracular Spectacular" could poison the band against their artistic abilities to solidify the new psychedelic/pop phenomena the band had discovered. In turn the long-term ill effects of success creating an unsettling affect upon the direction of the band. Some critics even stating that the band descended into a post "OS era" of musical degradation in which the pursuit of their damaged musical egos was paramount. 

Indeed the shock of having written some of the most populars songs seemed lost upon MGMT. One might even speculate that the hits they so unwittingly made saw them beckoned into a self-imposed state of prolonged depression. The effects of such problems discernible by the bands action in choosing to shun their new won fans by creating alternative songs which seemed paradoxically flawed. The fact that the mainstream didn't understand MGMT's later works was equally meet  by the undergrounds brooding resentment of their place in popular culture. I guess the saying it's lonely at the top isn't around for no reason. It also seems a musician can't simply make top tier songs from an alternative background see them cross-over into mainstream territory, then try reverse the recipe towards later indie acclaim. It seems no one has any interest in a band that seeks to re-enter the underground via the mainstream (an utterly foolish pursuit some might say). Perhaps the trappings of success are just to hard to miss! despite the problems of MGMT is it not unfeasible that they could still have derive some level of satisfaction by creating experimental hits. If they had added a potent underlining political message aimed at the youth it might have been a perfect endeavor. It almost doesn't even need to be said that chasing the illusion of reputation seems utterly pointless in music, especially when those that would viciously detract from your works are the same people you seek praise and acceptance.

Don't get me wrong i'm not saying there's anything wrong with the new music from MGMT. In all sincerity I enjoyed "Your Life is A Lie". The video was fun the cow-bell even golden live but  what i'm really trying to get at is the feeling of sadness created by a band like MGMT. It just seems crappy that a band who has the songs within them to compete with the greats (Bowie, etc), chooses to shun their responsibility by producing cathartic music for so many. Its like MGMT in  a way is like someone walking into a voting booth who in the end decides not to vote when they are faced with the conundrum of actually being able to. To be painfully frank it seems that the band is completely underestimating how many people are relying on them, crying out for them to flatten the trashy pop-stars of today whose music is gone tomorrow. 

Music lovers want a champion, no they need a champion and it hurts music and fans to the very essence when musicians who are able to create the envisioned master-piece deny them. On the very basis that to many people will find enjoyment in the new piece. Everyone wants MGMT two simple guys from Brooklyn to create another classic album because everyone else lacks the style and finesse to do it properly (like them). 

To put things in perspective people round the world are dying under oppression and although MGMT can't change that they can create a piece of art, world-spanning that can help address atrocities and reduce human suffering. 

If and it's a big if MGMT made a whole album of hits with a truly dark and political sub-text it would be the best album of the decade if not ever. What they are doing right now is great and sarcastically funny but it is second rung to art that reverberates around the world. Lord knows we could all do with a new record to cling too in these uncertain times. 

To sum up all I would ask of MGMT is for them to start thinking about others more who make up the lost digital Generation. Despite the world and it's beautiful technology corporate greed, corrupt politics and consumerist ideology still threatens human happiness. Musical Heroes are still needed and MGMT is one of them thats already  established. RockNRoll TMR

High Art + Low Art = Art 

No comments:

Post a Comment