Features | Awards

The Julian Assange Award for Fucking with Everybody for the Sake of Fucking with Everybody

By Chris Molnar | 11 December 2010

(Columbia; 2010)

Perhaps the best part of MGMT’s Congratulations is how pure it is, held aloft by major label money and a gold-selling track record. There’s a sense of dense, spiritually nutritious indulgence in it, of artists insulated from anything other than a mythological audience, some kind of People You Meet In Heaven award committee consisting of Syd Barrett and long hair-era Brian Eno. It’s hard to think of analogues, of alienating pieces of work that aren’t urgently soul-baring, overtly shocking, or misguided bids for critical or commercial acceptance. This is music for music’s sake, I guess I’m saying, missing every expected beat not on purpose but inevitably, because if we follow what’s right and true we’ll end up with shoddy sexual assault charges or mediocre reviews or people yelling for us to play the hits, which we’ll do because we’re decent human beings—though we won’t enjoy a minute of it.