"Little Dark Age" is the fourth full length studio album by the American rock band MGMT, which was released on February 9, 2018 by Columbia Records.
Little Dark Age received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 78 based on 8 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Little Dark Age is less galvanizing than MGMT's debut, but it's also less self-conscious and eager to confound than 2010's Congratulations and 2013's MGMT. Its ambitions, particularly in this age of sprawling, playlist-style albums, are refreshingly modest: just 10 pleasant, nostalgic indie-electro-pop songs about the anxieties and absurdities of contemporary life.
The album's opening track, “She Works Out Too Much,” is a bit of froth about trying to keep up with a girlfriend who's physically active (and active on social media), while the sparkling synth-pop of the single “Me and Michael” is readymade for '80s karaoke night. This is music unafraid of sounding middle-aged—and if that comes as a shock from a band that's still best remembered for glittery anthems like “Kids,” “Time to Pretend,” and “The Youth,” then there's still something to be said for aging gracefully.
For better or worse, Little Dark Age is an album for its time: moody, backward-looking, a little depressed. When compared to Oracular Spectacular, it can feel muted and minor, in both key and importance. Its insular rearranging of '80s pop and post-punk recalls Ariel Pink, a co-writer on “When You Die,” but without his manic energy. These days, though, being short on energy is a chronic and relevant condition. This is a soundtrack for the long hangover.
Reviewed by Zachary Hoskins for slantmagazine.com.