Oracular Spectacular



Glam rock, disco pop with a few mature themes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The songs deal with some pretty heavy topics, such as depression and disillusionment and sometimes have a cynical undertone. "This is our decision to live fast and die young/We've got the vision, now let's have some fun."


Only minor references to guns, but nothing particularly violent.


Some sexual themes, but nothing explicit ("Shock me like an electric eel/baby girl/turn me on with your electric feel/I said ooh girl/shock me like an electric eel").


One song, "Time to Pretend," contains the line "…f--k with the stars."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

"Time to Pretend" has drug references: "I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and f--k with the stars/You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars," but this reference is in the context of a tongue-in-cheek song about the pitfalls of extravagant lifestyles.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this album is full of metaphorical lyrics and loopy verses, but nothing inappropriate for teens. Several of the songs cover somewhat mature subject matter (references to guns, the pitfalls of extravagant lifestyles, depression), and the album will resonant best with teens probably dealing with coming-of-age issues.

What's the story?

MGMT's debut album is an audio patchwork of various musical genres from the last three decades, all mashed together to create a unique collection of songs. The 10-track album covers a lot of new territory, with the cynical electronic \"Time to Pretend\" and the eerily melodic \"The Handshake.\" But there's also a lot nostalgia on the album, including the disco-inspired single \"Electric Feel\" and the psychedelic \"4th Dimensional Transition.\"

Is it any good?


With lyrics like "We've got the vision, now let's have some fun/Yeah it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?/Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?" MGMT seems to have a lot to say about coming-of-age. The band even touches on the tried-and-true theme of teenage rebellion on the song "The Youth" ("Lock the parents out, cut a rug, twist and shout/The youth is starting to change/Are you starting to change?"). You might not get the meaning of some of the songs in just one listen, but the musical stylings will take you back decades to the glam rock era. The real appeal of the album has to rest in the infectious beats and unexpected instrumentation combining with the eclectic lyrics that set this band apart from cliched rock groups, especially on tracks such as "Kids" and "Electric Feel." Although some of the lyrics are confusing and the electronic effects sometimes weight down tracks (particularly "Future Reflections"), the band presents a solid debut that pays homage to the futuristic past.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how special effects are used on this album. Does the use of synthesizers, unusual instrumentation and electronic effects enhance the themes of the album? Or does it detract or over-complicate the meaning of the lyrics?

Music details

Release date:January 21, 2008
Label:Sony Music
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Oracular Spectacular was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byXantheane November 4, 2009


Time to Pretends drops the f-bomb, reffers to heroine and cocaine. In other songs there are some sexual things brought up, MGMT is very good in the studio and live. Plus, the lead singer is pretty hawt.
Adult Written byfosterthemonster May 2, 2012

Awesome Album

Says F--k one time, that's the only bad language in the entire album. Great for 10 up
Teen, 17 years old Written bysick puppy April 15, 2011


What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide