Certain Songs #1132: MGMT – “Kids”

Album: Oracular Spectacular
Year: 2007

So I only listen to commercial radio during for a couple of hours in the morning, mostly when I’m getting ready for and driving to work. The Kevin & Bean show on KROQ, to be exact. (Thanks to early exposure to Dean & Don’s Breakfast Club on KKDJ in the late 70s, I have a lifelong weakness for morning radio.) Given that the draw of Kevin & Bean is the comedy, they play — at the most — five, maybe six songs per hour.

And yet, while I do my best to play my own playlists while they’re on commercial breaks and/or playing what is usually the fucking Red Hot Chili Pepper, it seems like in the past decade, I’ve heard “Kids” a million times.

So much so that I finally got burnt out on it. And almost skipped writing about it for that reason, but it’s hardly fair to “Kids,” which is maybe my favorite straight-up old school synth-pop song since vintage New Order. (OK, maybe along with “Zero” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.)

Part of it is Ben Goldwasser’s super simple organy riff that dominates the song. You know: doo-doo-doo-duh-doo-da-do-da-duuuuhhhh-doooooooo. If you can’t stand “Kids,” it’s probably because you can’t stand that riff, but for me, it’s pure and utter catnip.

And the rest of it is the chorus, where Goldwasser joins Andrew VanWyngarden singing over that riff.

Control yourself
Take only what you neeeeeeed from it
A family of trees wanting
To be haunted

I don’t know what any of it meant, but it jammed deep into my brain, — and a lot of other people’s too as I’ll betcha I’m not the only person who loved it and is also kinda sick of it — and hasn’t ever really let go.

“Kids” Official Video

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