The struggles of MGMT‘s sophomore release, Congratulations, has been well (if not overly) documented. From the onset Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser realized the album would not have a viable pop-radio single, and apparently Columbia Records wasn’t too thrilled, since their now offering at least a little bit of “oversight”. But still, either through sheer determination or some record-label contract, the outfit have toured the globe promoting the new release. After a stint of lackluster performances, fan outrage, and pre-recorded live tracks, the tour seems to have done more harm than good for MGMT’s once uber-popular reputation — even my aunt loved the duo.
If there were no “Kids” or “Electric Feel”, would there ever have been this aura of disappointment around the release? VanWyngarden still crafts songs that tug at listeners pains, insecurities, joys, and fears; doing so in a rather progressive, genre-blending manner. MGMT delivered “Congratulations”, the album’s title track and one of the its more introspective singles, Monday night for Jimmy Kimmel Live. As usual, VanWyngarden seemed anxious onstage, often appearing to stare off into space. At the same time, there is an innocence and naivety in VanWyngarden’s delivery that is a perfect fit to the 60’s folk-pop feel of the track, even if he does so in his best Slash impersonation.
The group also brought the episode a rendition of “The Handshake”, one of the “other” tracks off their debut release. Watch both performances below.