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Saturday, March 15, 2014

32 of 1001 Songs: MGMT's Time to Pretend

This is another song I remember listening to a good bit when it was first released. I have to say of the ones I've went back and listened to again though this one catchy still and I liked it, but as far as meaning it got me disgruntled. It's a very early twenties song, and maybe maturing just makes it rub me the wrong way. I arrangement of the instrumental sounds though does give it this very movie tone though, and I can't deny it is quite catchy.

History: This song became quite a hit when the second version was released on their album, Oracular Spectacular. There was an earlier version on their EP. Basically the song is about as straight in meaning as you can get. This song made many best of lists, including Time's. It would also be the most successful song that MGMT has had to date.


Vocals: The lead vocals are distorted sounding, but they blend well with the instrumentals. Now I have no idea what the vocals would sound like without all the layers of mechanics to it though. So it could be a hard song to perform live because of the way the vocalist sounds. I like the energy of the song though, and the tone of the song does have this youthful and hopeful vibe that matches the tone of the tune. There is a lot of energy working through the vocals as well despite the monotone, almost robotic quality of the vocals.

Instrumentals: This song is classified as rock though I would almost say it's more for electronic fans. Well there are only two guys working on the album. The vocalist contributed to several instruments, and so does one other guy. Everything from keyboards, guitars, drums, and synthesizers can be heard on this song, and it's combined well to get the sound they get for the song, which makes anyone listen think of the rockstar lifestyle. Perhaps it is the channeling of instrumentals that have been used in all sorts of rock, especially the rock of rockstars, to give us that imagery as you listen.

Lyrics: Just as you would imagine the rockstar life the lyrics are pretty materialistic, and vulgar. The song in it's own way is very dark though. While it might reflect the lifestyle of having anything you want from drugs to models, it also gets even darker as the song goes on as the singer reflects on the loses with fame though. Including the boredom of a normal life, losing the closeness of family, and the idea of your childhood home in exchange for what fame can bring. By the end of the song the rockstars have had children, divorced, and are chocking on the vomit from overdoses of their addictions. Whether the singer's view this as a negative is left to obscurity because even in the way they discuss the song they don't portray it negatively.

The song is very catchy, and honestly dark despite the light electronic sound it carries throughout the whole tune. I have to say I still hear the appeal of what I did when I first listened to it though, but I also feel like I've grown away from listening to things with such lyrical content. Perhaps the regular person might find value in the warnings of materialism and fame, but otherwise there isn't much to garner from it after listening despite a really catchy beat.

Rating 8 of 10.


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