Congratulations
by MGMT

Album: Congratulations (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • MGMT is an American band based in Brooklyn, New York, consisting of Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. They achieved a commercial breakthrough with the release of their first major label album, Oracular Spectacular. On the pair's sophomore release, Congratulations, the duo reflect on their massive rise in popularity. VanWyngarden told Q magazine: "The title ties into this cynical philosophy I have. It's like, Congratulations, you're Bono, you've made it. But what do you really have? You still don't have any answers."
  • VanWyngarden explained the acoustic title track to the San Francisco Examiner: "The song 'Congratulations' itself is pretty dark. It's us trying to deal with all the craziness that's been going on since our last album took off. Sometimes it just doesn't feel natural."
  • VanWyngarden explained to the NME that the title track is an in-joke: "We actually decided to call it 'Congratulations' while we were writing the songs for the first album and we thought we should stick with that because it means something different new. We think it's excited. We're excited because a lot of people will see it as a pat on the back to ourselves and really it's a bit more sinister and sarcastic than that."
  • The song's lyrics also refer to the worldwide recession, and how MGMT magically floated on top of it. VanWyngarden told Spin Magazine: "I was working on the lyrics while we were on the road. Some of it is about the worldwide economic crisis and how - thankfully - we were able to continue making music through it. But it's also from the perspective of other musicians, and about how fame and all the stuff it affords doesn't get you any answers. Maybe that's a cynical outlook."
  • The striking video was shot in widescreen and shows the duo walking in the desert with an unusual creature that slowly decays along the voyage. The clip was directed by Tom Kuntz and edited by Steve Gandolfi, who explained to the video trade publication Studio Daily: "I love the track and probably listened to it 1,000 times and it never got old. Tom wanted the mood to be moving and thoughtful, with time for the narrative to unfold. The edit followed suit. Everything – each shot, frame, movement, is all choreographed in time with the music. Every edit made worked within this very strict visual orchestration. Tom also carefully considered every way in which the clip might be viewed – including on the iPhone – so we experimented with framing and tech specs so that it would be received well in any situation."
  • Kid Cudi sampled this for his Indicud track, "Immortal." Ben Goldwasser commented to NME: "I think it's funny to hear a song like that with a really huge beat underneath it."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Song Titles That Inspired Movies

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.

Artis the Spoonman

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)Songwriter Interviews

The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.

Strange Magnetics

Strange MagneticsSong Writing

How Bing Crosby, Les Paul, a US Army Signal Corps Officer, and the Nazis helped shape rock and Roll.

Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.