Thursday, December 4, 2008

Songs* Of The Year: MGMT - Time To Pretend

(Yes I know it came out on an EP in 2005 but it was a different version altogether and fuck off, etc). Madly and utterly euphoric, from the whooosh into the opening verse to the "Yeah Yeah Yeah"s that bring it to its close. For the four-odd minutes in between, spaced-out synth pads and bleeps, janglepop guitar and liberal use of a horn section**  wrap around a brilliantly cynical lyric about shooting smack, banging models and choking on vomit, delivered double-tracked and drenched in reverb with a catch in the voice that offsets the irony, all driven by distorted, propulsive drumming. 

It's a kitchen-sink production, four and a half minutes of hugely imaginative psychedelic electro-pop. Sticking it right at the front of the fucking album is a supremely ballsy move - it's a testament to the strength of Oracular Spectacular that the rest of the record isn't a huge letdown. "Time To Pretend", meanwhile, is a genuine classic. Shitting hell, I think there's actually an oboe in there too. Astonishing.

*Songs. See, it's fucking plural. More than one.
** There is simultaneously not enough brass in today's popular music and vastly too much on any given Bruce Springsteen album.

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