Oracular Spectacular

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Oracular Spectacular
Studio album by MGMT
Released October 2, 2007 (digital)
January 22, 2008 (CD, LP)
Recorded March–April 2007
Genre Indietronica, Indie pop, Neo-psychedelia
Length 40:18
Label Columbia, RED Ink
Producer Dave Fridmann
MGMT chronology
Time to Pretend EP
(2005)
Oracular Spectacular
(2007)
Congratulations
(2010)
Singles from Oracular Spectacular
  1. "Time to Pretend"
    Released: March 3, 2008
  2. "Electric Feel"
    Released: June 23, 2008
  3. "Kids"
    Released: October 13, 2008
Alternative cover
2007 digital cover

Oracular Spectacular is the first major label studio album by American band MGMT, released digitally October 2, 2007 on RED Ink Records and physically on January 22, 2008 by Columbia Records.[1] The album, which has sold over 1 million copies worldwide, was nominated for best international album in the 2009 BRIT Awards. It features new versions of both "Kids" and "Time to Pretend", songs from their previous release, Time to Pretend EP (2005), the opening track serving as a "mission statement" and theme continued through the proceeding tracks. Though Oracular Spectacular never sold more than 17,000 in a week, it has been a consistent seller since January 2008, selling at least 2,000 copies per week through April 2010.[2]

In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 494 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Time to Pretend"   4:21
2. "Weekend Wars"   4:12
3. "The Youth"   3:48
4. "Electric Feel" (VanWyngarden, Goldwasser, Will Berman) 3:49
5. "Kids"   5:02
6. "4th Dimensional Transition"   3:58
7. "Pieces of What"   2:43
8. "Of Moons, Birds & Monsters"   4:46
9. "The Handshake"   3:39
10. "Future Reflections"   4:00
Total length:
40:30

Personnel[edit]

  • Andrew Vanwyngarden – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion
  • Ben Goldwasser – vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, percussion, synths and samples

Quotations[edit]

  • "Knowing that the Almost Famous notion of stardom doesn't exist anymore (if it ever did), the duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser realize they're "fated to pretend". It's a charming idea — making a career out of fantasizing—and on Oracular Spectacular, they not only accept their playacting destiny, they demonstrate that, just maybe, it's a path more people should take." - Eric Harvey, Pitchfork Media
  • "This space-rock gem mocks the clichéd cocaine-and-hookers rock-star lifestyle, over big synth whooshes." - Kevin O'Donnell of Rolling Stone on the single "Time to Pretend".[6]
  • "We redid a lot of our songs that sounded too polished... Dave (producer David Fridmann) ended up running the tracks through this thing that crushed them and made them sound really gross again. They're a lot better now." - Ben Goldwasser in Rolling Stone[6]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
The Guardian 4/5 stars link
NME (8/10) link
Pitchfork Media (6.8/10) link
PopMatters (5/10) link
Prefix 4/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention) link
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars Archived February 1, 2008 at the Wayback Machine

Oracular Spectacular has received mostly positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 76 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Jason Lymangrover of Allmusic called the album "some of the catchiest pop songs to come from NYC since the turn of the millennium." Lymangrover continued: "the songs never feel insincere and the record is inherently strong throughout, making it a solid start to their career."[8] Prefix Magazine described the album as "a college-dorm experiment gone horribly right."[9]

Not all the reviews were positive, though. In a more mixed review, Popmatters' Matt Fiander criticized the second half of the album, writing, "The second half of the record settles into a more monotone kind of space rock that is as big as the better first half, but gives us no recognizably distinct songs or catchy melodies."[10]

The album was named the best album of 2008 by NME.[11] In 2009, Rolling Stone named it the 18th-best album of the decade.[12]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Certification Sales
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[13] 6 Platinum[14] 70,000+[citation needed]
Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart 10 Gold[15] 15,000+[citation needed]
Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart 55
Canadian Albums Chart 24 Gold[16] 50,000+[citation needed]
Croatian International Album Chart[17] 34
Dutch Albums Chart 45
French Albums Chart 22 Silver[18] 65,480[citation needed]
Irish Albums Chart[19] 5 2× Platinum[20] 30,000+[citation needed]
Italian Albums Chart 85
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart 161
Mexican Albums Chart[21] 74
New Zealand Albums Chart[22] 13 Gold 7,500+[citation needed]
Swiss Albums Chart 68
UK Albums Chart 8 Platinum[23] 567,696[24]
US Billboard 200 38 Gold[25] 606,000+[24]
Year-end chart (2008) Position
Australian Albums Chart[26] 16
French Albums Chart[27] 77
UK Albums Chart[23] 65

Awards[edit]

Title Award Result
NME Awards 2009 Best Album of 2008 Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oracular Spectacular on Amazon". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Justin Bieber, MGMT lead U.S. album chart". Reuters. 2010-04-21. 
  3. ^ Wenner, Jann S., ed. (2012). Rolling Stone - Special Collectors Issue - The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. USA: Wenner Media Specials. ISBN 978-7098934196
  4. ^ "Sony Music Online Japan : MGMT : オラキュラー・スペクタキュラー+4". Sonymusic.co.jp. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  5. ^ Oracular Spectacular backside
  6. ^ a b O'Donnell, Kevin. "Artist to Watch: MGMT". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  7. ^ Critic Reviews for Oracular Spectacular. Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  8. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. Oracular Spectacular - Review. Allmusic. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  9. ^ Goldmeier, Jeremy. "Oracular Spectacular: Album review". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  10. ^ Fiander, Matt. MGMT: Oracular Spectacular. Popmatters. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  11. ^ Chester, Tim. Revealed: NME's Top Albums Of The Year 2008. NME. 3 December 2008
  12. ^ Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums, Songs Of The ’00s. Stereogum. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  13. ^ "Oracular Spectacular ARIA Albums". Australian ARIA Albums Chart. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  14. ^ "Australian Record Industry Association". Ariacharts.com.au. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  15. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  16. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum - January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  17. ^ "Top of the Shops - službena tjedna lista prodanih albuma u Hrvatskoj". Hdu-toplista.com. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  18. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Meilleurs Ventes de CD (Albums) en 2008". Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  19. ^ "Irish Album Chart 13th March 2008". Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. 1962-10-01. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  21. ^ "AMPROFON: Week 43" (PDF). amprofon.com.mx. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  22. ^ "Oracular Spectacular RIANZ Albums". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  23. ^ a b Official Album Chart - 2008. ukchartsplus.co.uk. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  24. ^ a b MGMT Takes A Risk With 'Congratulations' Album. Billboard.com. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  25. ^ "Gold & Platinum - April 07, 2011". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  26. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums 2008". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  27. ^ "Disque en France". Disque en France. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 

External links[edit]