Congratulations

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Apr 13, 2010
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. It's a brave, sometimes successful, but ultimately flawed attempt to evolve and grow the band's sound. The one crime is a distinct lack of any memorable tunes, but it will certainly stand as one of 2010's more interesting releases.
  2. What emerges from such silliness is the pleasing sense that the duo had a blast making this record. Listening to it is also fun at times, but just as often it's damned hard work.
  3. Their mainstream audience should flee now, but Congratulations is more than mere commercial suicide. Their perversity has produced a sonic adventure, with lovely moments.
  4. Congratulations will, without question, be heard, and by millions. But as what--an all-too-familiar expression of post-fame disillusionment? a fearless psych-rock masterpiece? a shape-shifting tribute, both lyrically and musically, to retro influences?--remains unclear.
  5. With Congratulations, they attempt to not just keep it weird--which they've done--but to figure out how they can be in it for the long haul. It's a solid start.
  6. None of the songs hit as hard as Kids or Electric Feel, but there's also no filler (which is more than we can say for OS). Instead, the band delivers a consistent if self-indulgent offering of oddball prog-pop.
  7. Overall, MGMT's refusal to co-operate with the listener jars with the crisp and professional production – which, despite Sonic Boom's involvement, is more Van Dyke Parks than Spacemen 3 and leaves Congratulations sitting somewhere in the middle, not complex enough for the prats, but too obscure for the jerks.
  8. This airy prog-psych self-indulgence is merely an elaboration of the back half of that debut--the half I tuned out then but appreciate some now, because, even as self-indulgent elaborations go, the follow-up's a doozy.
  9. MGMT have (purposely?) lost that instant magic that they effortlessly whipped up with those debut singles, and in trying to re-establish themselves as artists that don't need the commercial mainstream to survive, they've created a record that lacks any defining characteristics to call its own.
  10. Either way, therein lies Congratulations' biggest triumph: despite being every bit the sophomore slump MGMT damn near willed it to be, it leaves you just enough reason to stay interested in what they do next.
  11. In striving rather openly to set their sophomore effort apart from what they view as the critically acclaimed trappings of their debut, MGMT offers what is, essentially, an album of B-sides--a few bright spots strung together with half-baked concepts and monotony, in need of a lot less knob-tweaking and a whole lot more rewrites.
  12. There are nine tracks of somewhat forgettable spacey-psych 70's songs that are packed with confusion from start to finish. It sounds as if the band skipped a few pages, assuming that their immediate debut success would carry over with the risks they took for this one.
  13. Congratulations shares nary a sonic smidgen with Oracular Spectacular, instead existing in a netherworld where mod-era psychedelia meets prog-rock and where the ecstatic heights of the band's debut don't exist.
  14. None of the songs are good enough as growers or deep tracks to hold up the album.
  15. Credit MGMT for refusing to rest on its major-label laurels, but directionless experimentation proves no substitute.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 203 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 46
  2. Negative: 3 out of 46
  1. DavidM.
    Apr 14, 2010
    10
    What a grower of an album. Soon it will be drilling itself into your subconscious.
  2. FredericL.
    Apr 19, 2010
    9
    An excellent second album that will make the indie-hipsters freak out...Nevermind the poseurs! Definitely on the same level as great psyche An excellent second album that will make the indie-hipsters freak out...Nevermind the poseurs! Definitely on the same level as great psyche albums such as "Da Capo" or "Odessey & Oracles". Can´t wait for album 3 and let´s hope we have a second Metanoia-style EP in the middle. Full Review »
  3. DocGonzo
    Apr 13, 2010
    9
    Surprised at the tepid critical response thus far. To my ears, this is an incredibly cohesive psychedelic album absolutely brimming with Surprised at the tepid critical response thus far. To my ears, this is an incredibly cohesive psychedelic album absolutely brimming with excellent musical ideas. It's a great new direction for a talented young band. Full Review »