BRAND NEW/NEWS: MGMT’s “Congratulations” – full stream

Ironically enough, after MGMT/Sony Records announced they were pulling the plug on the planned full stream of “Congratulations” (which was due to be available on Monday), the reasons for which neither the band nor the label explained, “Congratulations” leaked.

On their website, WHOISMGMT?, the band have said the following:

“Hey everybody, the album leaked, and we wanted you to be able to hear it from us. We wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn’t make sense to anyone but us.”

Below that little message, you can stream the whole album for free.

Is there any connection between cancelling the planned stream and the album leaking? It all seems a bit strange to me. If I was to guess at anything, I’d guess at this.

I’d guess that Sony said to them “Hey, we don’t think it’s such a good idea to let everyone stream this, web-rips will become available and we believe that will lessen the amount of initial sales the album gets on release.”

I’d guess MGMT may not be too happy about that, and may have taken matters into their own hands. As the album would be under very tight security, I can’t imagine too many people having access to it. Maybe MGMT thought “Okay, we value our fans a lot and we want them to hear our new album before they go out and buy it,” and so they decided to leak it. The leak then forced the label to agree to put a stream up, because if there’s no legal stream, people are more likely to just download the album, which is bad for them.

Alternatively, MGMT wanted to give their album away for free from the get go, but couldn’t because their label logically wouldn’t want that. The next best thing was a pre-album-launch stream, but when that was cancelled the band had no choice but to leak it.

So maybe MGMT do want people to pirate “Congratulations”. They said they want the album to be a free download. But it doesn’t matter, I doubt we’ll ever find out.

That’s all just speculation. Something to think about. It just seemed a bit odd to me and the more I thought about it the more it seemed like it could be a deliberate leak.

Also; in related news, apparently they’ve “apologised” for “Flash Delirium”. Read about it here.

Oh, and by the way, the album doesn’t sound bad at all. It’s more out-there than “Oracular Spectacular”, but I expected that. If anything, it seems to flow together well as a whole. So it may not be an album of radio-friendly singles, but as a full album it could be quite good. I guess time will tell with repeat listens.

BRAND NEW: MGMT – "Flash Delirium"

I awoke this morning to the sound of my lovely radio playing triple j for me. Then I remembered that Tom and Alex would be premiering the new MGMT track today. And oh the surprise! They played it about 5 minutes after I woke up! I didn’t have to wait around listening to the track being hyped up for hours on end.

But as for the song. Everyone wants to know what kind of album MGMT’s new one is going to be. Everyone wants to see where they’re going with their music.

Well, let me tell you this. It won’t be what you expect.

To me the song still has that MGMT feel to it (some may say it’s an… electric feel. I’m sorry. That was terrible.). But "Flash Delirium" is a little more unconventional than their other work. It doesn’t sound like the same kind of radio-friendly music that I heard on "Oracular Spectacular". Don’t get my wrong, I really enjoyed "Oracular Spectacular". It was quite a good album. But this new song really has me doubting exactly how good "Congratulations" is going to be.

"Flash Delirium" has no discernible structure, no chorus. It’s a flow of sounds and ideas, building up to frantic jumping yell, before being abruptly cut off. There’s even a little flute (?) solo in the middle! It really needs to be heard to be understood. The layered vocals, the trumpets, just everything feels a bit out there.

This kind of music, as an album, can be pulled off successfully. It’s different. It’s a bit strange. It’s a bit out there. But if it’s done right, it can be quite successful. I get the feeling "Congratulations" isn’t going to be the album of instantly catchy hits its predecessor was. I get the distinct feeling that "Congratulations" is going be what will be described as a more mature album. I think that if anything, "Congratulations" is going to be one of those albums that grows on you. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

At the risk of giving a premature evaluation of the quality of the song, I’m going to give it a score. The song may grow on me in the future, but this is how I feel now after 5 or 6 listens.

Score: 3/10

Grab a free download here. You don’t even need to give up an e-mail address.

The score was bumped down on 18/03/10.