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Music / MGMT

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This is our decision to live fast and die young, we've got the vision, now let's have some fun! note 

MGMT, formerly known as The Management, are an American neo-psychedelic rock band from Middletown, Connecticut. They started out making trippy, catchy pop music before becoming an equally trippy pastiche of 60s and 70s rock with Congratulations, and then moving on to more experimental and electronic- influenced music in their 2013 album MGMT, before (somewhat) returning full circle to catchy pop with 2018's Little Dark Age.


Control yourself, take only what you need from it, a family of tropes wanted to be haunted:

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In-universe: the "It's Working" video appears to be about a machine that generates Big Lipped Alligator Moments.
  • Break-Up Song: "She Works Out Too Much":
    The only reason it didn't work out
    Was he didn't work out enough
  • Celebrity Song: "Brian Eno", a nod to the musician of the same name.
  • Cover Version: Some performances of "Kids" on the Little Dark Age tour (such as this one) interpolate a performance of the theme song from The Neverending Story.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The "mystic referee" in "Metanoia" is not God, but Carl Jung.
  • Descent into Darkness Song: "When You Die". The entire song, but *especially* after the first verse: you hear some nice, melodic guitars for a while and then they abruptly interject with "Go fuck yourself! / You heard me right!"
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Andrew and Ben met each other while they were both studying at Wesleyan University.
  • Epic Rocking: "Metanoia" and "Siberian Breaks" are 10+ minute tracks that sound like 5-6 songs in one. "Flash Delirium" is a 4 minute track that sounds like 5-6 songs in one.
    • "As You Move Through The World" is 7 minutes.
    • Many live performances of "The Handshake" also extend the song to 8-9 minutes.
    • The original performance of 11•11•11 was originally promoted as a single 45-minute song. The live album divides it into eleven tracks, two of which ("Tell It to Me Like It Is" at 9:12, and "Under the Porch" at 6:38) individually qualify.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Siberian Breaks" has three of these. The real ending is actually more abrupt than the fake ones.
  • Fan Vid: This is not the official "Kids" video, but it became big enough for the stars of it to have a cameo in the "Electric Feel" video.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In a sense, their entire career. "Kids" and "Time to Pretend" were originally written as send-ups of pop music, but both songs led to the band signing to a major label and becoming massive hits in the process.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:"Me and Michael" seems to be about the concept.
  • Insult Backfire: "Little Dark Age" was meant mainly as a Take That! to people they disagreed with at the time of the 2016 American Presidential Election. Not only were the intended targets unimpressed, they seized upon the song as a backing track for a wide range of counter-cultural memes.
  • Loudness War: In Oracular Spectacular they intentionally turned up the gain to get a "dirty" mix.
  • Mind Screw: The video for Flash Delirium practically embodies the trope. But just as much can be said of most of their songs' lyrics.
  • New Media Are Evil: "She Works Out Too Much" and "TSLAMP" (short for "Time Spent Looking At My Phone") delve into the alienating effects of social media and smartphones respectively.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Congratulations dropped the electropop from their first album in favor of 60's and 70's-influenced Psychedelia.
    • MGMT, beyond the first two singles, "Alien Days" and "Your Life is a Lie", is more electronic, darker and droning.
    • Little Dark Age returns to the pop melodies of their debut, only this time embracing NewWave, Synth-Pop and hazy, 80s' style production.
  • Odd Friendship: They've collaborated several times with French house label Ed Banger Recordsnote , of all things. A supergroup called the Ed Banger All-Stars was even formed solely to remix "Siberian Breaks".
  • Ode to Intoxication: Many of their songs are either this, ironic odes to intoxication or an Ode to Sobriety.
  • Precision F-Strike: "When You Die" tells us to "go fuck yourself".
  • Protest Song: "The Youth" is a song about protesting for the sake of protesting. The band explained that they wanted to say something meaningful to young people, but weren't sure what.
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Retraux: Little Dark Age attempts to emulate the sound and production values of the 1980s.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: They performed a song called "Art Is Everywhere" for Yo Gabba Gabba!.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Satirized in "Time To Pretend". Sex, drink, move to Paris, marry models, get the models pregnant, choke on your own vomit, die. Don't forget the cocaine and heroin.
  • Social Media Is Bad: "She Works Out Too Much" characterizes an ailing relationship in part through the exhausting use of social media. The narrator finds himself tired of constantly keeping up with his lover's workout selfies, realizing the process has jaded himself to their relationship as being superficial and/or tainted by his own neurotic pickiness.
    Don't take it the wrong way
    I can never keep up
    Sick of liking your selfies
    Should've gone with my gut
    Maybe I'm in a movie
    Maybe I'm out to lunch
    But I'm constantly swiping and tapping
    It's never relaxing, I need a new routine
  • Song Style Shift: Several, most notably "Flash Delirium" and "Siberian Breaks".
  • Student–Master Team: "Brian Eno" is about one of these. Sadly, the song does not actually feature Brian Eno.
  • Surreal Music Video: All of them, with "Kids", "Time To Pretend" and "Flash Delirium" being the weirdest.
  • Textless Album Cover: Their band name likes to appear and disappear from several albums and singles.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Played straight with "It's Working", inverted with "The Youth".