Review: Dystopian dream pop cover of “Electric Feel” that I heard in Panera Bread

As I was struggling through the painfully slow wifi connection during a Porkspork staff meeting at my local Panera Bread earlier this evening, I was overcome by a feeling that I can only compare to that scene from Ratatouille, where a food critic has a flashback to his childhood after he tastes a dish made for him by a particularly talented small rodent. 

The feeling was caused by a beautiful melody I was able to make out, over the warm chatter of families at dinner, friends meeting for coffee, and ex-lovers engaged in a screaming match over who would take the 2004 Nissan Maxima. I felt a familiar rhythm, but at first couldn’t quite make out the lyrics the gentle female vocalist was crooning. Then, as if I had been hit by a blue 2004 Nissan Maxima, I heard the chorus: “ooh girl, shock me like electric eel,” and nearly burst into tears.

In my own youth, I listened to MGMT’s debut album almost constantly, obsessing over the hits. I admired the direction they chose to pursue in later albums, but always found myself returning to the familiar sound of “Electric Feel.” When I heard the glowing synths of the cover today in the Panera Bread, I knew I could never listen to anything but this one song again. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the cover was recorded by, but I accept this as the divine price I pay for being able to hear such a beautiful thing even once.

The song was layered in cloaks of apocalyptic haze, burying the poetic refrains of a person consumed by their love. The drums seemed to beat to the tune of my own heart, dragging me along like the can of Chef Boyardee that follows a little girl home in a commercial from the 2000s. I experienced pure joy in a way that I never thought imaginable, and had to take a few moments to reflect in the american eatery, which in recent years has shifted its focus to fast and convenient family dining, integrating touch screen displays, sensors that vibrate and have flashing lights (that I, personally, am a bit scared of), and quick meal pick-up stations. 

I’ll never hear the original version of the song in the same way, now that I’ve been blessed by the beautiful recording I experienced tonight. Music as a whole, I’ve decided, is worthless if it is not a delightfully melancholy version of MGMT’s “Electric Feel.”

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