Oracular Spectacular is a 2008 album by MGMT. It broke the band to the mainstream thanks to the success of the radio hits "Kids", "Time to Pretend" and "Electric Feel". It was listed at #494 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Despite the album and singles' success, its entire sound is very different compared to their regular music. Even "Kids" and "Time to Pretend" had appeared earlier on their EP Time to Pretend (2005) in a different version. As a result, it became a Black Sheep Hit, and the band themselves have made clear that they won't be making songs like those again.
- "Time to Pretend" (4:21)
- "Weekend Wars" (4:12)
- "The Youth" (3:48)
- "Electric Feel" (3:49)
- "Kids" (5:02)
- "4th Dimensional Transition" (3:58)
- "Pieces of What" (2:43)
- "Of Moons, Birds & Monsters" (4:46)
- "The Handshake" (3:39)
- "Future Reflections" (4:00)
- Andrew Vanwyngarden: vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion
- Ben Goldwasser: vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, percussion, synthesizer, samples
You trope me on with your electric feel!
- Alliterative Title: "Weekend Wars".
- Body Paint: One half of Ben Goldwasser is painted blue on the album cover.
- Broken Record: "The Handshake"We got the handshake, we got the handshake
- Counting to Three: The crowd of children at the start of "Kids" count the song off.
- Day Light Horror: The music video of "Kids" takes place at an ordinary day, when suddenly things change for the worse. A toddler is menaced by monsters that his inattentive mother can't see.
- Deranged Animation: The music video of "Kids" starts with a toddler being accosted by realistic monsters in an otherwise pitch black room. Later it has the kid wandering alone on the street surrounded by monsters and deformed people. The animated section at the end goes Up to Eleven. Of course... it was made by the same people who brought us Superjail!.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Time To Pretend" is quite clearly a sarcastic slamming of the "sex drugs and rock and roll" lifestyle. Most people think it's a ''celebration'' of said lifestyle. Nevermind the lines about choking on your vomit, missing a simple and ordinary lifestyle and the increasingly sad tone of the song as it progresses.
- Face on the Cover: The band members on a beach.
- Four More Measures: "Electric Feel" sure takes its time before it starts.
- Growing Up Sucks: "Kids" is about how, in the grand scheme of things, childhood is completely pointless and yet it's depressing how natural it is to transition out of it. All the while it is sung to a light and fun yet trippy electronic beat.Memories fade, like looking through a fogged mirror.Decision to decisions are made and not boughtBut I thought this wouldn't hurt a lot.I guess not.
- Loudness War: They intentionally turned up the gain to get a "dirty" mix.
- Nightmare Face: The music video of "Kids" features deformed rubber masks with grotesque protruding eyes and tongues. Then you notice that a small child is crying and reacting to these horror faces.
- Non-Appearing Title: The word "kids" is not said once in the song of the same name.
- One-Word Title: "Kids".
- The Power of Love: "Electric Feel"I said: "Ooh girl, shock me like an electric eel."Baby girl, you turn me on with your electric feel
- 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.
- Record Producer: Dave Fridmann, known for his work with The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Kids" and "Time To Pretend" appeared earlier on their EP "Time To Pretend", but in a different arrangement.
- Rock Star Song: "Time To Pretend" is a dark take on the concept:We'll choke on our own vomit, and that will be the end - we were fated to pretend...
- 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.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
- The music video for "Time To Pretend" directed by Ray Tintori pays homage to The Holy Mountain and Lord of the Flies.
- At the start of the music video for their single "Kids" a quote appears, attributed to Mark Twain. In reality this quote is from Friedrich Nietzsche. Seeing MGMT's attitude of not taking their communication with press and audience seriously this might be a deliberate joke on their behalf:
- Skinny Dipping: "Electric Feel"Saw her in the amazonWith the voltage running through her skinStanding there with nothing onShe gonna teach me how to swim
- Stock Sound Effects: A group of children can be heard at the start of "Kids". They collectively count the song off.
- Surreal Music Video: "Kids" and "Time To Pretend" are extremely strange. In "Kids" a toddler is being menaced by monsters, then the video changes into Deranged Animation to difficult to convey in words. The video for "Electric Feel" depicts the band members and various people, cartoon characters, The Rock-afire Explosion, and animal-people partying in the middle of a jungle. They take the moon from the sky, cut it open, and paint themselves in a neon ooze emitting from it. Then put it back in the sky. During the closing sequence, the members of MGMT get on motorbikes and drive into the moon which then explodes, causing a rain of neon colors to fall on the dancing people.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Inverted with "The Youth".
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Andrew Vanwyngarden poses in his swimming short on the album cover.
- Do what you feel now!Electric feel now!Do what you feel now!Electric feel now!