MGMT: Loss of Life (Mom + Pop) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, July 14th, 2024  


Loss of Life

Mom + Pop

Feb 23, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For a band who once confessed they were fated to pretend, MGMT sound pretty darn sincere on Loss of Life, their first album since 2018’s Little Dark Age. Following the band’s recent TikTok success with that album’s title track reaching viral status, the easy thing would be for MGMT to cash in on what we all know they do exceedingly well—endlessly catchy anthems that smirk at the seriousness of life with a bit of synthesized impishness and hooky euphoria that toes the line between satire and nostalgia. However, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser have never defined success in terms of virality, and it shows on Loss of Life—an album that is not nearly as grim as it sounds, yet maintains the sort of sobriety and contemplative nature fitting of a band now five albums (and nearly two decades) into their career. Loss of Life is MGMT’s most cinematic record to date, allowing the duo to grapple with mortality through meaningful introspection which reveals that, at the end of all things, there’s always love.

The givenness of mortality invites reflection on those things that matter most in life, those relationships that truly matter to us, as MGMT explores alongside Christine and the Queens with “Dancing in Babylon”—a romantic ballad of truly epic proportions that would make Jim Steinman blush and Brandon Flowers jealous. On “People in the Streets,” VanWyngarden looks outward on a world filled with social upheaval and “things you can’t unsee” and despairs at the paralyzing fear that keeps us from bringing about real change. Similarly, on “Nothing Changes,” VanWyngarden despairs at the static nature of things with a bit of a smirk that reminds us that MGMT’s mischief isn’t entirely absent in their maturity. Despite the certainty of loss, the album’s final track returns to the theme of love, juxtaposing a heartwarming ice cream truck melody with a dark, somber motif reminiscent of a requiem mass. Here in this unforgettable combination of innocence and experience, MGMT reminds us that some of life’s most painful aspects must be accepted, yet we push against it anyway with childlike wonder and beauty and the renewing power of love that opens itself to all. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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