The multi-movement epic has a spotty history in pop. Pink Floyd did it well. MGMT have tried one and only partially succeeded.
The 12-minute Siberian Breaks is the fulcrum for this hotch-potch of musical styles. Variously brilliant and awful, the song is a neat microcosm of the album. It also lacks any continuous theme, again, much like the rest of Congratulations. As Breaks swings between Love-style psychedelia and horrible Rick Wakeman-esque organ blasts, Congratulations wavers between the trippy kookiness (Someone's Missing) of the Brooklyn band's debut CD Oracular Spectacular, and half-baked Pete Doherty guitar plucking (Song for Dan Treacy).
Brian Eno revisits the playful cheekiness that first won the band plaudits, while Flesh Delirium and Lady Dada's Nightmare are nods to Barking's electro-indie poppers Stereolab. Missing the druggy tones of their acclaimed debut, MGMT's second offering will take a little longer to win over their spaced-out fans.