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MGMT - Time To Pretend - Lyrics Meaning



"Time To Pretend" is a 2008 single by an American, Brooklyn-based, psychedelic electronic-pop duo called MGMT. The song gained most of its notoriety online. MGMT were recognized as the most played band of 2008 on Last.fm, and "Time To Pretend" has been featured on television shows like Gossip Girl, 90210, and Skins. The song peaked at number 35 on the U.K. singles chart and had moderate success on U.S. modern rock charts. Time magazine listed "Time To Pretend" number 8 in their critic's list of Best Songs of 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song number 3 in their list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008, and NME magazine named the song the fourth Best Single of 2008.

MGMT are a bit unusual and have stated in press interviews that the song's keyboard melody was inspired by a pet praying mantis that they had their senior year of college. According to legend, the praying mantis, named Kuivila, was eccentric and liked dancing to The Clash. She died shortly after laying eggs and the band placed the eggs in a model pirate ship that decorated their mantle. The eggs eventually hatched, resulting a surreal scene of baby praying mantises climbing all over the ship, inspiring the band to start work on a tune called "The Mantis Sailing Home."

The name of the song changed once the lyrics were developed. The lyrics are a satirical look at rock-star aspirations. The lyrics depict a hedonistic, fantasy-life of a typical sell-out rock star- Doing drugs, dating models, and leaving behind childhood innocence, family, friends, and the life that existed before fame. The lyrics describe how fame creates a superficial reality where there is a conscious decision to live fast and die young rather than get jobs in offices and work nine to five. The last verse describes the typical rock star death that results from excess. The duo has been clear that the lyrics should not be interpreted as autobiographical in any form. It was their intent to mock the lifestyle they're describing. iTunes, offering the song as a free download for a period of time, received criticism due to the track's drug references and explicit language.

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