Oracular Spectacular

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Jan 22, 2008
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 202

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  1. DolanM.
    Mar 3, 2008
    8
    Re: Sharpa That's a stretch. The only similarities those songs show are the use of synth and the tone of voice, and if we're going to argue about tone of voice, then HSH stole it from Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, who got it from someone else, etc.
  2. DMcGinty
    Feb 25, 2008
    8
    The first five songs are amazing, the rest has its moments. Not many bands can have songs titled "The Youth" and "Kids" two tracks apart without getting cocky.
  3. BilliW.
    Feb 1, 2008
    10
    This is the Sargeant Pepper for the New Millennium. A work of youthful genius.
  4. JustinN
    Jan 31, 2008
    8
    The album is pretty freakin' good. I had a chance to hear MGMT live with Of Montreal in November as was surprised to hear an opening band almost surpass the main show.
  5. OliverC.
    Jan 31, 2008
    9
    This album is fantastic. Every song here is great. I don't know why the critics call it front-loaded, i think "4th Dimensional transition" is the best song on the album after Time to Pretend. It doesn't have any weak points in my opinion.
  6. StevenR.
    Jan 31, 2008
    9
    For opener "Time to Pretend" alone, this album deserves high marks, but best is that MGMT refuses to be categorized. Building upon the mostly-electric sound of their previous EP, MGMT ends up a little more rock. Very few low points.
  7. GuillaumePop
    Feb 2, 2008
    10
    This is my 2008 debut album, amazing from the start to the end!
  8. AlexR.
    Feb 21, 2008
    7
    Aside from the obvious standouts on the record (Time to Pretend, Electric Feel, Kids), the album is very mediocre. The albums letdowns however feature a lot of potential for the group. A good effort, but a miss for the most part.
  9. MarkL.
    Mar 12, 2008
    8
    It's a pretty good CD. With some upbeat songs as well as some mellow songs that still make you want to move.
  10. PeterS.
    Mar 15, 2008
    8
    Electric Feel is the best song Prince never wrote.
  11. [Anonymous]
    Mar 17, 2008
    9
    Great album, and great live band. Sharpa, I'm sorry buddy but Sleepy California sounds nothing like Time to Pretend. Did you actually listen to the album?
  12. KGFReeze
    Mar 17, 2008
    8
    Superb record from front to back. Prince and the Flaming Lips in a dirty drugged out orgy....obviously. Good stuff, can't go wrong with this one.
  13. ChrisM.
    Mar 19, 2008
    10
    Best pure pop album in a long long time. The difference between them and anyone they may sound like is that they have a lot more melody, raw talent, sly unsmug humor, all around smarts, and are just plain better.
  14. ErikB.
    Mar 20, 2008
    9
    One of the best album's I've heard this year.
  15. Steve
    Mar 28, 2008
    9
    Great. It is weird but in a good, different way. Best album I've bought in 2008.
  16. Alex
    Mar 29, 2008
    8
    My albums of the year are so far: The Mars Volta, MGMT, Tokyo Police Club, and The Raconteurs. This album keeps bringing me back time and time again - my version of it is low quality - which actually adds to the feel of it -- I suggest you rip it like this ha! It feels like they have taken you to a desert island with them -- brilliant stuff! Oh and Sharpa J. -- it doesn't sound My albums of the year are so far: The Mars Volta, MGMT, Tokyo Police Club, and The Raconteurs. This album keeps bringing me back time and time again - my version of it is low quality - which actually adds to the feel of it -- I suggest you rip it like this ha! It feels like they have taken you to a desert island with them -- brilliant stuff! Oh and Sharpa J. -- it doesn't sound anything alike "sleepy california" - although they seem to be a pretty good band so thanks! Expand
  17. JustinK.
    Mar 30, 2008
    9
    Oracular spectacular is one of the must have albums of 2008. With a unique sound best described as space-rock meets disco, MGMT masterfully craft every song on their debut album, with the strong point being the first three tracks. Its only downfall is that it sometimes lacks a persistent flow as an album. And to set the record straight, Time to pretend does not sound that much like Oracular spectacular is one of the must have albums of 2008. With a unique sound best described as space-rock meets disco, MGMT masterfully craft every song on their debut album, with the strong point being the first three tracks. Its only downfall is that it sometimes lacks a persistent flow as an album. And to set the record straight, Time to pretend does not sound that much like HSH's Sleepy California. It sounds as thought the song was a slight influence at best. Expand
  18. MarkD.
    Apr 2, 2008
    9
    Where the hell did these guys come from? Out of nowhere they produced easily one of my favorite albums of 2008. A strong effort start to finish.
  19. AlZ.
    Apr 4, 2008
    10
    More powerful than Destroyer. Tighter than the Flaming Lips. Less goofy than Junior Senior. Those comparisons are loose at best as this album brings a brand new sound.
  20. MGrizzle
    Apr 10, 2008
    9
    Hot fire, Unlike many other bands before them, they seem to have perfected the whole space pop rock deal. It takes a few listens to really get into the music. Song's like Kids, Time to pretend will grab you and get you hooked. What else would you expect from a Dave Fridmann production. There amazing, Lets not jump to conclusions just yet, lets see what else they pump out before we Hot fire, Unlike many other bands before them, they seem to have perfected the whole space pop rock deal. It takes a few listens to really get into the music. Song's like Kids, Time to pretend will grab you and get you hooked. What else would you expect from a Dave Fridmann production. There amazing, Lets not jump to conclusions just yet, lets see what else they pump out before we hail them as the next great thing... Expand
  21. JamesS.
    Apr 11, 2008
    9
    A cracking little album which really captures the zeitgeist...seems to be better with every listen!
  22. GigiM.
    Apr 24, 2008
    10
    This album keeps entertaining, wowing and surprising me. Unpredictable, odd, excellent. One of the year's best.
  23. Brittany
    Apr 25, 2008
    9
    i love this album my favorite of the year so far. weekend wars and the youth are great songs!
  24. TomA.
    May 27, 2008
    9
    A wonderfully uplifting and exciting debut from a band who seem to have appeared from nowhere on a glam-lined cloud. Although slighlty front loaded (enjoyed better on shuffle I would have to say), it is an amazing starting point, with only one or at a push two slow points. It will be very interesting to see where they go from here, and I cant wait to catch them live - what a show it must be!
  25. MycroftW.
    Jun 28, 2008
    7
    Great singles, rushed album. Obvious example of a major label trying to churn out the next big thing.
  26. CristobalG.
    Jul 5, 2008
    9
    On a very first listen, the album may not sound as promising as you could think, but after the second listen and so on, it becomes an incredibly fresh, addictive, fun, clever, shiny and original album. It's like the perfect balance between Indie and Mainstream.
  27. RobB.
    Jul 5, 2008
    9
    Electric Feel, Kids, Weekend Wars & Time To Pretend are SO good that they score 9 on their own. The rest are less good and that's why its short of the perfect 10.
  28. KyleA.
    Jul 17, 2008
    10
    While at first this is album is hard to get into (past Time To Pretend) you discover the brilliance of their lyrics and the eloquence of their beats. Look out for "Kids" as the most addicting song.
  29. VasileiosP.
    Oct 16, 2008
    9
    Best pop of the year so far. Scissor Lips!
  30. Will
    Oct 24, 2008
    8
    The first half of the album is superb but in the second half only The Handshake stands out. They've got good potential though.
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Alternative Press
    90
    Oracular may be a complex effort, but the verdict is simple--it's brilliant. [Feb 2008, p.115]
  2. Under The Radar
    80
    Though the record is slightly front-loaded, there's nary a dud to be found here. [Winter 2008, p.86]
  3. While Oracular Spectacular has its sophomoric moments (you’d be wise to avoid the nasal whine of 'Weekend Wars'), a listen to 'Climbing To New Lows'--a catchy demo set from their undergrad days--will make anyone see what attracted the bigwigs at Columbia in the first place.