MGMT became the toast of the hipster elite two years ago with a mix of sonic bombast and psychedelic shenanigans. Oracular Spectacular swirled its ingredients into a frothy blend of electronic-kissed indie-pop until it came out sounding like a galaxy-hopping version of the Flaming Lips. On its second album, the Brooklyn-based duo gets headier, pushing the debut’s psych-pop toward a vast, no-boundaries soundscape. Producer Sonic Boom (who used to co-guide British space-rockers Spacemen 3) encases Congratulations in spears of jagged, icy textures. MGMT aren’t as inviting as they were on Oracular Spectacular, which probably has something to do with the mounting pressures of fame. Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser glance from a distance, as Congratulations grazes ’60s Britpop (“It’s Working”), multipart epics (the 12-minute “Siberian Breaks”) and a ray of hooky sunshine (“Someone’s Missing”). But they sound more ordered here — Congratulations isn’t as slapped together as Oracular Spectacular; the album flows more readily. Plus, there are plenty of headphone trips for your next intergalactic freakout. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? —Michael Gallucci (follow me on Twitter @mgallucci)
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