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MGMT - Brian Eno (Saturday Night Live 2010)

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Brian Eno on Wikipedia
MGMT Congratulations.jpg
Studio album by MGMT
ReleasedMarch 20, 2010
  • Psychedelic rock
  • neo-psychedelia
  • indie rock
  • MGMT
  • Sonic Boom
MGMT chronology
Singles from Congratulations
  1. "Flash Delirium"
    Released: March 23, 2010
  2. "Siberian Breaks"
    Released: April 17, 2010
  3. "It's Working"
    Released: June 26, 2010
  4. "Congratulations"
    Released: November 26, 2010
Alternate cover
Limited edition scratch-off cover

Congratulations is the second studio album by American rock band MGMT,[1] first self-released through MGMT's website on March 20, 2010[2] with a general release following on April 13, 2010[3] by Columbia Records. The album marks a departure from the synthpop style that first brought the band acclaim on their debut studio album Oracular Spectacular and features a more psychedelic, progressive and guitar-driven sound. MGMT began writing the tracks that would ultimately appear on Congratulations in early 2009. They eventually headed to a Malibu studio to work on the album, with producer Peter Kember (Sonic Boom), an ex-member of Spacemen 3, where vocal contributions from Royal Trux singer Jennifer Herrema were also recorded for the album.[4] VanWyngarden has stated that the album is influenced by the band's massive rise in popularity since Oracular Spectacular's release. "It's us trying to deal with all the craziness that's been going on since our last album took off. Sometimes it just doesn't feel natural".[4] MGMT has also said that the album was partially influenced by Lady Gaga and Kanye West.[5]

In an interview with NME, Goldwasser explained, "We'd rather people hear the whole album as an album and see what tracks jump out rather than the ones that get played on the radio – if anything gets played on the radio!" He also said, "There definitely isn't a "Time to Pretend" or a "Kids" on the album. We've been talking about ways to make sure people hear the album as an album in order and not just figure out what are the best three tracks, download those and not listen to the rest of it".[6] On March 20, 2010 the band made the album available for streaming on their official website, and stated that they "wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn't make sense to anyone but ".[2]

Congratulations debuted at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album sold over 66,000 copies in its first week of release in the United Kingdom, making it the best sales week ever for the band.[7] In the following 18 months, the album sold over 11,000 more copies in the UK.[8] The album was released on iTunes with an additional track for those who pre-ordered the release digitally.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Reception
    • 2.1 Accolades
  • 3 Track listing
  • 4 Personnel
    • 4.1 Musicians
    • 4.2 Production
  • 5 Charts
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


On January 12, 2010, Andrew Van Wyngarden declared that the album was finished in an interview on the Spin Magazine website, saying, "It's mixed and mastered, and now we're just working on presenting it to the world".[9] On January 18, MGMT stated that they would prefer not to release any singles from the album.[6] Despite this, however, the songs "Flash Delirium", "Siberian Breaks", "It's Working" and "Congratulations" were still released as singles from the album.

On February 5, 2010, a countdown clock appeared on the band's website alongside a short still of a beach. The clock would eventually count down to 12:00 AM (EST) on April 13, 2010, hinting the new album would be released on that day.[10] On March 9, 2010, the band released the song as a free download.[11] The bonus track "Inbetween the Liners" consists of an instrumental outtake of a song called "Forest Elf" from the Congratulations sessions, with producer Peter Kember reading the album's liner notes out loud while the track plays backwards. Andrew VanWyngarden has stated that "Siberian Breaks" is his favorite track of the album.[12]

The cover art was done by Anthony Ausgang, known for his kitschy lowbrow art style.[13]

On March 15, 2011, an EP of remixes of three songs from the album ("Congratulations", "Siberian Breaks" and "Brian Eno") named Congratulations Remixes was released.


The album received mixed to positive reviews upon its release,[25] with a 72/100 metascore on Metacritic based on 39 reviews.[26] Pitchfork Media deemed the album "audacious, ambitious, and a little fried."[27] NME described the album as "a mix of frenetic, brief psych nuggets... echo-drenched mini epic tendencies" and some "classic MGMT". As previously indicated by its creators, the review went on to say the album contained nothing in the way of "Kids-esque pop singles," adding that "it instead delves deeper into the sprawling, psychedelic sounds that characterized the second half of Oracular Spectacular". The article mentioned that "Flash Delirium" was being considered as a taster for the album, which the band had stated would not have any singles released from it in order to solidify it existing as a single body of work. It should be noted here that over the course of 2010, the band did eventually release several singles and EPs with songs from the album. MGMT have described the album as "a collection of nine individual musical tours de force sequenced to flow with sonic and thematic coherence".[28] Celina Murphy of Hot Press gave the album 7 out of 10 and wrote: "MGMT have achieved what they set out to do and you have to admire them for risking their successful hides for a walk on the psychedelic side."[29] Writer Shelby Powell noted the group's homage to British rock musicians Dan Treacy of Television Personalities and Brian Eno, complete with faux accents in MGMT's delivery on a few songs. Eno, who is the subject of one of the songs, described the work as "very flattering", and added: "I appreciate the way they managed to make the song both fond and tongue in cheek at the same time".[30] What's more, The Boston Globe noted that "perhaps most telling is the title track, which closes the album on an introspective note. A relatively straightforward coda, the song ends with a gesture the album rightly deserves: the sound of applause".[31]

Track listing

All lyrics written by Andrew VanWyngarden; all music composed by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser.


  • Andrew VanWyngarden: vocals, guitars, drums (3, 4-7, 9), bass (1-4, 6, 9), synths (2, 3, 6, 8), casio guitar (7), piano (2), fake flute (4), harmonica (6), electric sitar (3, 6), percussion
  • Ben Goldwasser: synths and samples (1, 3-9), organ (3-5, 7, 8), piano (4, 8), omnichord (1, 2, 5), numerology (6), additional vocals (2, 4, 7), percussion
  • James Richardson: guitars (1, 2, 5-8), synths (2), casio guitar (7), synth drums (8), glockenspiel (2), saxophone (5), pan pipes (6), additional vocals (7), percussion, electric sitar (3)
  • Matt Asti: guitars (1, 4, 6), bass (4-7), piano (5), additional vocals (7), field recordings and treatments, percussion
  • Will Berman: drums (1, 2, 4), guitars (4, 6), bass (4), additional vocals, percussion, synths
  • Peter "Sonic Boom" Kember: master of ceremonies, modular synth (2), first documented use of the EMT 250 "glitch" (6), gakken sx-150 (7)
  • Britta Phillips: additional vocals (1)
  • Jennifer Herrema: additional vocals (2, 4)
  • Gillian Rivers: strings (1, 5, 6, 8, 9)
  • Dave Kadden: oboe and sundries (6)


  • MGMT – production
  • Sonic Boom – production, harmonica and percussion treatments
  • Billy Bennett – engineering
  • Matt Boynton – additional engineering
  • Daniel Johnson – assistant engineering
  • Dave Fridmann – mixing, additional engineering
  • Greg Calbi – mastering
  • Anthony Ausgang – cover painting


As of June 2013, Congratulations has sold over 219,000 copies in the United States.[37]


  1. ^ "Congratulations coming from MGMT". Triple J music news. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  2. ^ a b "MGMT | The Official MGMT Site". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  3. ^ Goodman, William (8 February 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: MGMT Unveil New Album!". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  4. ^ a b "MGMT take up surfing while recording second album". NME. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  5. ^ Moreno, Chino (January 25, 2010). "MGMT's new album influenced by Lady Gaga and Kanye West". NME. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "'We're not releasing any singles from our new album'". NME. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Justin Bieber, MGMT lead U.S. album chart". Reuters. April 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ Fitzpatrick, Rob (27 October 2011). "When bands fall off cliffs". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Goodman, William (January 18, 2010). "Q&A: MGMT's Andrew Van Wyngarden". 
  10. ^ "MGMT | The Official MGMT Site". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  11. ^ Dombal, Ryan (2010-03-09). "Wild New MGMT Song: "Flash Delirium" | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  12. ^ "Interview: MGMT — "My favorite directors are Werner Herzog, David Lynch and Federico Fellini. All of them do more far-out ideas in their movies…" - ARTISTdirect News". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  13. ^ "Anthony Ausgang - MGMT". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  14. ^ Metacritic score
  15. ^ "AllMusic review". 
  16. ^ "Chicago Tribune review". April 8, 2010. 
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (May 2010). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  18. ^ "Entertainment Weekly review". 2010-04-07. 
  19. ^ Simpson, Dave (April 8, 2010). "The Guardian review". London. 
  20. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". 
  21. ^ "Review: Congratulations". Q. Bauer Media Group: 110. May 2010. 
  22. ^ "Rolling Stone review". 
  23. ^ "Spin review". 
  24. ^ Brunstad, Svein (April 13, 2010). "MGMT – Congratulations (Review)". URB. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  25. ^ "Congratulations Reviews at AnyDecentMusic?". Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  26. ^ ""Congratulations" Reviews, Ratings, Credits and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  27. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (2010-04-12). "MGMT: Congratulations | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  28. ^ "Columbia Records Proud to Release Congratulations, the New Studio Album From MGMT". Columbia Records. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  29. ^ Murphy, Celina (14 April 2010). "Congratulations". Hot Press. Retrieved 20 July 2016. [permanent dead link]
  30. ^ Brian Eno, "The Best Thing I've Heard All Year: The stars pick their fave tracks of 2010", Mojo magazine, January 2011, p.64
  31. ^ "MGMT's reaction to fame is a trip". The Boston Globe. April 12, 2010. 
  32. ^ "NME Awards 2012". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  33. ^ "Congratulations on Amazon". Amazon. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  34. ^ "iTunes Store". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  35. ^ "Congratulations +5 MGMT [CD]". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  36. ^ "MGMT Congratulations Back of Album". Image. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  37. ^ "MGMT Announces Third Album Details". Billboard. June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  38. ^ "CANOE - JAM! Music SoundScan Charts". 2012-01-05. Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  39. ^ Steffen Hung. "MGMT - Congratulations". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  40. ^ "Top Albums : Les Prêtres se hissent n°1". 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  41. ^ Published Friday, Apr 16 2010, 13:46 BST (2010-04-16). "Mumford & Sons album tops Irish chart - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-01-10.  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  42. ^ "Congratulations - MGMT". 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  43. ^ "Scottish Albums Top 40 - 14th January 2012". Official Charts. Archived from the original on 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Congratulations Album blog
  • MGMT Say 'Honest' New Album Congratulations Due In April - Music, Celebrity, Artist News |
  • MGMT, "Congratulations" by Billboard

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