It's Working

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"It's Working"
Its working so-me.jpg
Single by MGMT
from the album Congratulations
Released June 26, 2010
Format Digital download
Genre Psychedelic rock, Psychedelic pop, progressive pop, art rock, surf rock, baroque pop
Length 4:07
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Andrew VanWyngarden, Ben Goldwasser
MGMT singles chronology
"Siberian Breaks"
"It's Working"

"Siberian Breaks"
"It's Working"
Music video
"It's Working" on YouTube

"It's Working" is the third single released from the album Congratulations by MGMT. The album covers were made by So Me.

Sonic Boom commentary of the track, before the Congratulations sessions at the Blanker Unsinn Studio on 2010: "Love? Or Confusion? Reality? Contusion? Subterranea or Sub-fusion. The Quest begins."[1]


The single was added to BBC Radio 1's C-Playlist in May 2010 and later upgraded to the B-Playlist.

On June 29 the single was released as a digital download on iTunes, with the name of "It's Working Digital 45" and contains the Air and Violens remix.[2]

On June 30 the remix by Air was given as a free download on RCRD LBL.[3]


Niall Doherty with The Fly said:

"One of the few songs on Congratulations to have been road-tested live, 'It's Working' dives straight into a Murmur-era R.E.M. riff, its jittery rhythm giving way to a reverbed-to-fuck Andrew Van Wyngarden vocal. Little dynamic flourishes build 'It's Working' up to a psychedelic (think I'll be using that word a lot) climax, before it pauses briefly for a Motown interlude and then, umm, a bongo solo. There's a truckload of ideas chucked into 'It's Working', but somehow it works. Attention-grabbing from the off—MGMT put the ace in spaced-out."[4]

Matt Robinson with Musicradar wrote:

"'It's Working' was the first track tested for the album and it immediately marks its patch a bold distance from Oracular Spectacular.

In place of the grumbling synthesizers and neon electronica you might have been expecting, the track builds its house on harpsichords, flutes and Zombies-esque guitars. What's more, the hook—and there most definitely is one—takes a good 12 bars to reveal itself. This is not 'psych rock inspired' like Oracular—this is full-blown, glorious bar-for-bar psych rock pastiche.

Perhaps predictably for a psych track, 'It's Working' is also about drugs. What's more curious, however, is that it's not about LSD. It's about all the ecstasy the boys regret gobbling up in the early throes of their success."[5]

Music video[edit]

MGMT says in an interview for Pitchfork about the song: "We just shot the coolest video in Paris with director So Me [Justice's "D.A.N.C.E."] for 'It's Working'. In it, Ben and I find this box and these instructions to put together a machine that's constantly changing, and we end up losing control over it. Saying this now, it sounds so metaphorical for our musical career, which is really funny."[6]

The video premiered on June 15 on their website.

The video features Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser finding a box that contains a giant machine in it. They find a booklet with the title "Construction Manual" on it. They look through it and push different buttons on the machine. While Vanwyngarden and Goldwasser push the buttons a woman walks past but they do not take any notice of her and the machine takes photos of her that MGMT show to a photo booth. While the song keeps playing, Vanwyngarden and Goldwasser do various things with the machine such as pour ice cream all over a sombrero on Will Berman's head and locking Matthew Asti in with a giant gopher. Near the end of the video, the machine starts shrinking Vanwyngarden tries looking for Goldwasser and finds him in bed with the woman from before as the song starts fading. He wakes Goldwasser up and try getting out of the machine. Vanwyngarden, Richardson and Asti escape but Vanwyngarden goes back for Goldwasser who gets stuck in the machine along with Vanwyngarden. The video ends with the box closing itself and a man (played by the video's director, So Me), picking up the box.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[7]
1."It's Working" (Air remix)4:31
2."It's Working" (Violens remix)4:02