Oracular Spectacular

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Oracular Spectacular
Oracular Spectacular 2008.jpg
Studio album by MGMT
Released October 2, 2007
Recorded March – April 2007
Genre
Length 40:18
Label
Producer
MGMT chronology
Time to Pretend
(2005)Time to Pretend2005
Oracular Spectacular
(2007)
Congratulations
(2010)Congratulations2010
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 edition cover
2007 digital edition cover

Oracular Spectacular is the debut album by American band MGMT, released on October 2, 2007 by RED Ink and physically on January 22, 2008 by Columbia.[1] It was produced by Dave Fridmann and is the band's first release of new content, being recorded from March to April 2007. Promotion for the album started as early as June 2007, when the song "Weekend Wars" was given away in summer issues of free monthly magazine Nöjesguiden in Stockholm, Sweden. Matching CDs could be picked up for free in all stores in three different shopping malls around Stockholm from June 26 to July 31. The album was also promoted with three singles: "Time to Pretend", "Electric Feel" and "Kids". Both "Time to Pretend" and "Kids" were re-recorded for the album; they were originally included on the band's previous release Time to Pretend (2005), with the opening track serving as a "mission statement" and the theme continuing through the album's subsequent tracks.

Although Oracular Spectacular never sold more than 17,000 in a week, it has consistently sold since January 2008, selling at least 2,000 copies per week during April 2010.[2] The album received positive reviews from critics, who lauded its production style, musical direction and composition. It was nominated for the International Album award at the 2009 Brit Awards. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 494 on its updated list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[3]

Background[edit]

The duo recorded with music producer Dave Fridmann in 2007 for their major label debut, Oracular Spectacular.[4] MGMT opened for Of Montreal on tour in autumn 2007 as a five-piece touring band including Matthew Asti (bass), James Richardson (drums), and Hank Sullivant (guitar).[5]

Promotion for the album started as early as June 2007, when the song "Weekend Wars" was given away in summer issues of free monthly magazine Nöjesguiden in Stockholm, Sweden. Matching CDs could be picked up for free in all stores in three different shopping malls around Stockholm from June 26 to July 31.[6]

In November 2007, they performed for the first time in Europe, supporting the band Samantha and The Courteeners at Koko in London, England.[7] After March 2008, Hank Sullivant left the band to pursue his own band, Kuroma. Will Berman joined as the new drummer, James Richardson switched from drums to guitar, and Matthew Asti remained on bass.

The album was also promoted with three singles: "Time to Pretend", "Electric Feel" and "Kids".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic76/100[8]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[9]
Alternative Press4.5/5 stars[10]
The Guardian4/5 stars[11]
The Independent3/5 stars[12]
NME8/10[13]
The Observer4/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork6.8/10[15]
Q4/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[17]
Uncut4/5 stars[18]

Oracular Spectacular has received mostly positive reviews, being assigned a Metascore of 76 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8] Jason Lymangrover of AllMusic called Oracular Spectacular's tracks "some of the catchiest pop songs to come from NYC since the turn of the millennium" and stated that "the songs never feel insincere and the record is inherently strong throughout, making it a solid start to their career."[9] Prefix Magazine described the album as "a college-dorm experiment gone horribly right."[19] Giving the album a three-star honorable mention rating, Robert Christgau stated that "like Vampire Weekend, only as synth-dance rather than indie-rock, they convert a quality liberal education into thoughtful, anxious, faux-lite pop."[20]

In a 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."[21] The album was named as the best album of 2008 by NME.[22] In 2009, Rolling Stone named it the 18th-best album of the decade.[23] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[24]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Andrew VanWyngarden, except "The Youth" and "Electric Feel" by VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser; all music composed by VanWyngarden and Goldwasser.

No.TitleLength
1."Time to Pretend"4:21
2."Weekend Wars"4:12
3."The Youth"3:48
4."Electric Feel"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

Notes

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[27] 6
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[28] 72
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[29] 10
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[30] 55
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[31] 24
Croatian International Albums (HDU)[32] 34
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[33] 45
French Albums (SNEP)[34] 22
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[35] 65
Irish Albums (IRMA)[36] 5
Italian Albums (FIMI)[37] 74
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[38] 114
Mexican Albums (AMPROFON)[39] 74
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[40] 13
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[41] 68
UK Albums (OCC)[42] 8
US Billboard 200[43] 38

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[44] 16
French Albums (SNEP)[45] 77
UK Albums (OCC)[46] 65

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[48] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[49] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[50] Gold 75,000*
Ireland (IRMA)[51] 2× Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] Platinum 461,000[52]
United States (RIAA)[53] Gold 580,000[52]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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 978-7-09-893419-6
  4. ^ "Dave Fridmann/Tarbox News/Notes". Archived from the original on December 12, 2002. Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Mystic Future Pop Duo MGMT Heading Out On Major North American Tour With Of Montreal From October–November". PR Newswire. August 16, 2007. Retrieved August 28, 2007. 
  6. ^ "MGMT - Weekend Wars". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-04. 
  7. ^ "Koko gigs archive". Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for Oracular Spectacular by MGMT". Metacritic. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Lymangrover, Jason. "Oracular Spectacular – MGMT". AllMusic. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". Alternative Press (235): 115. February 2008. 
  11. ^ Rogers, Jude (March 7, 2008). "MGMT, Oracular Spectacular". The Guardian. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ Gill, Andy (March 7, 2008). "Album: MGMT, Oracular Spectacular (Columbia)". The Independent. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". NME. February 26, 2008. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  14. ^ Hodgson, Jaimie (March 16, 2008). "Let them sow their wild Oates". The Observer. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ Harvey, Eric (October 22, 2007). "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  16. ^ "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". Q (262): 138. May 2008. 
  17. ^ Ganz, Caryn (February 7, 2008). "Oracular Spectacular". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  18. ^ "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". Uncut (132): 98. May 2008. 
  19. ^ Goldmeier, Jeremy. "Oracular Spectacular: Album review". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved November 26, 2007. 
  20. ^ Christgau, Robert. "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  21. ^ Fiander, Matt (January 22, 2008). "MGMT: Oracular Spectacular". PopMatters. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  22. ^ Chester, Tim. Revealed: NME's Top Albums Of The Year 2008. NME. 3 December 2008
  23. ^ Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums, Songs Of The '00s. Stereogum. Retrieved 22 June 2011
  24. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (2014). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-2074-6. 
  25. ^ "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. 
  26. ^ Oracular Spectacular backside
  27. ^ "Australiancharts.com – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  28. ^ "Austriancharts.at – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  30. ^ "Ultratop.be – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "MGMT Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Top of the Shops - službena tjedna lista prodanih albuma u Hrvatskoj". Hdu-toplista.com. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  34. ^ "Lescharts.com – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  36. ^ "Irish Album Chart 13th March 2008". Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  37. ^ "Italiancharts.com – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  38. ^ "MGMTの作品 | Oricon News". Oricon. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  39. ^ "AMPROFON: Week 43" (PDF). amprofon.com.mx. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  41. ^ "Swisscharts.com – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  42. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  43. ^ "MGMT Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  44. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums 2008". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  45. ^ "Disque en France". Disque en France. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  46. ^ a b Official Album Chart - 2008. ukchartsplus.co.uk. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  47. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  48. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2009". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  49. ^ "Canadian album certifications – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Music Canada. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  50. ^ "French compilation certifications – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  51. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  52. ^ a b MGMT Takes A Risk With 'Congratulations' Album. Billboard.com. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  53. ^ "American album certifications – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 1, 2018.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]