Congratulations (MGMT song)

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"Congratulations"
Single by MGMT
from the album Congratulations
Released November 26, 2010
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Psychedelic pop
Length 3:55
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Andrew VanWyngarden, Ben Goldwasser
MGMT singles chronology
"It's Working"
(2010)
"Congratulations"
(2010)
"Alien Days"
(2013)

"Congratulations" is the fourth single released from the album Congratulations by MGMT, released as a music video on August 25, 2010.

Sonic Boom commentary of the track, before the Congratulations sessions at the Blanker Unsinn Studio on 2010: "The Half-arsed Hugs of routine celebrations. Realisations. Random Aging .... A World in tatters? Glitter that matters? The hollow victory. And then Sleep ......." [1]

The single was released on a limited edition 7″ vinyl with a special 20-page illustrated booklet, on Friday, November 26, 2010.[2]

On November 2, Record Store Day announced the limited edition "Congratulations" 7" as one of their Black Friday Exclusives which contains the Erol Alkan remix.[3]

The song was featured in the credits of 2010 Oscar award-winning film documentary Inside Job.

Reception[edit]

"The final track returns to the jangling '60s pop stylings of Waterloo Sunset. It's smooth and charming and sidesteps the awkward hooks of the rest of the album. 'It's Congratulations' lyrics here that are most important. As Andrew VanWyngarden sings that all he wants are your congratulations, he reveals the whole point of the album. "MGMT don't need—or necessarily want—a big selling album. They want recognition and credibility. And they deserve them." "Congratulations is an exciting step away from over-used pop tropes and a bold leap into the unknown." [4]

"Ah, cheeky little scamps – MGMT save their most simplistic song for last, 'Congratulations' playing out like a sequel to the reckless decadence of 'Time to Pretend', the duo overlooking their success with a sneering, sarcastic eye. "Out with a whimper/It's no blaze of glory" sings Van Wyngarden over a folky, tender rhythm section. Ending with a round of (we imagine) piss-taking handclaps, it's a fitting close to an album that will test the patience of MGMT fans who were only into the 'HITS', but perhaps that's the point; in one big, imaginative sidestep, MGMT might have just leapt the hurdle of becoming a one-album wonder, carving out a career at the true heirs to Flaming Lips' throne in the process. It's not an album that will thrill on first listen – I listened about, umm, ten times before I wrote this, but it’s a record that deserves your attention nonetheless."[5]

American hip hop recording artist Kid Cudi, sampled the song for his third album Indicud (2013), on the song "Immortal".

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl[6][A]
No. Title Length
1. "Congratulations" (album version) 3:55
2. "Congratulations" (Erol Alkan remix[7]) 6:35
Notes
  • A ^ The remix on the 7" is 6:30 long and the remix as digital download is 4:03 long (radio edit version).

Music video[edit]

The video for "Congratulations" features the two lead members of MGMT, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, journeying through the desert with a strange four-legged creature that some have described as a "sad-eyed Duck-dog-o-saurus".[8] Throughout the video, the creature gradually falls apart, losing a leg and then its beak, each body part sinking into the sand. Stopping to rest, VanWyngarden attempts to comfort the creature. Nearing the end of the video, the creature loses its footing and tumbles down a large sand dune. The two pick up what is left of the creature, and as dusk settles in, they come upon a portal-like structure. Just before reaching the structure, one of the creature's eyes falls off and sinks into the sand. From the sand, a cluster of lights rises towards the sky, blending with the stars, and shimmering in sync to the music. The songs ends with the two men gazing up to the sky and applauding.

The video was filmed at Dumont Dunes in California’s Mojave Desert,[9] and was directed by Tom Kuntz and edited by Steve Gandolfi.[10] The creature was created by Legacy Effects. Vance Hartwell, of Legacy, said: “The puppet was made of material including foam latex and fibreglass. We had an actor inside. His legs fitted into the hind legs of the puppet and his head was at the base of the neck. With the heat of the desert and the wear and tear of the conditions there was always someone with him, both to make sure he was ok and to hold up the puppet head.”[11]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]