Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

“Loss of Life”: An experimental effort

Courtesy of Mom+Pop Records
Courtesy of Mom+Pop Records

Since the success of their first album “Oracular Spectacular,” MGMT has been an experimental group. The iconic indie band has become known for their use of various instruments, sounds, and themes to create exciting, psychedelic music. Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, the duo behind the project, are always trying to expand their horizons as musicians.

These efforts have brought the band quite a large amount of success among the indie rock scene and beyond. Some of their songs have become global hits; even if someone doesn’t know MGMT as a band, I’m sure they know the melody and lyrics to “Kids” or “Little Dark Age” by heart. Making music since the mid 2000s, MGMT is a band that has been able to exist and grow across different eras and genres, finding success and popularity in the age of TikTok, Spotify, and Apple Music. While some may argue that the band never truly maintained the stardom that “Oracular Spectacular” gave them, it can totally be said that the band’s sound has only improved since those days. My personal favorite album from the group, “Congratulations” released three years after “Oracular Spectacular,” and both of the albums that came after were also well received by fans and new listeners alike

Needless to say, MGMT is an iconic duo. So, when I heard that they were releasing a new album, I couldn’t help but feel excitement and yearning for some new indie rock.

With “Loss of LIfe” now being officially released, what new sounds does the band have to offer? There are plenty of songs on this new album that allow MGMT to do what they do best. While this album obviously takes inspiration from the classic rock sounds of the ‘80s, there is still plenty of room for the band to put their own spin on things.

Songs like “Bubblegum Dog” and “Mother Nature” have simple but effective melodies that allow the listener to focus on the lyricism and instrumentation in a way that doesn’t feel lopsided; both the lyrics and instruments are equally important to making these songs sound the way they do.

There are also songs like “Dancing in Babylon,” which are faster while also having lots of build up. There are some beautiful vocals on this track that is mostly because of the featured artist, Christine and the Queens. In fact, the vocals on most of the songs on “Loss of Life” stand. I found myself listening closely to the lyrics and vocals more than the instruments themselves.

Interestingly enough, I do think that the most engaging track on the album is its title track. “Loss of Life” as a song is melodic and slow, fitting in short verses in between instrumental breaks. This song features lots of the electronic sounds that MGMT are known for, but it also opts for a calmer sound that again focuses on the vocals and lyrics. This song was my favorite off of the album, and I always find it interesting when title tracks are the best and last songs on a project’s tracklist.

As an album, “Loss of Life” has a mostly peaceful and mellow sound. There are no songs that remind me of poppy, hard hitting tracks like “Electric Feel” or “Time to Pretend.” This album almost feels like something you would listen to as you watch the sun set, and, in my opinion, it’s not exactly an album that you would listen to while driving around with your friends on a summer day. But I think this album’s unique sound illustrates the diverse discography that MGMT has created in the 20+ years that they have been active. Every album is different, and, while I do think that “Loss of Life” is far from the duo’s strongest album, I do think it is a great experimental project.

In a way, you can say that “Loss of Life” is kind of boring, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. This is definitely one of the band’s more serene and beautiful projects, with a lot more acoustic guitar and less percussion. This album certainly feels different from the band’s other projects, which I think is a sign that MGMT is still capable of experimenting and making new sounds. The songs were more or less the type of songs you would fall asleep to rather than dance to, but the band’s talent still shines through regardless. “Loss of Life” is worth listening to more than once, and I recommend it to those looking for some new psychedelic sounds to relax to.

“Loss of Life” is now available on streaming services

⅗ stars

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About the Contributor
June Fernandez
June Fernandez, Reviews Editor
June Fernandez currently serves as The Maroon's Reviews Editor. June is a junior majoring in computer science and is pursuing a career in software engineering. In their free time you can find them reading a science fiction novel, people watching, or browsing a local record store! June can be reached at [email protected].

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