After self-releasing their Time to Pretend EP, and touring with Of Montreal, the band signed to Columbia Records, and set about recording their debut album with Dave Fridmann, the longtime Flaming Lips producer. MGMT released their debut album, Oracular Spectacular in digital format, in October 2007, three months ahead of the album's physical release. Mixing up a variety of genres, the album introduced MGMT as a jokey band of no fixed style.

"I don’t feel like we play a particular style of music at all, so in that way it feels like we’re quite isolated," says Goldwasser. "I wouldn’t know where to begin in describing our music, so, without that, it’s hard to work out what bands might sound like us."

Since the release of Oracular Spectacular, which peaked at #60 on the Billboard chart, MGMT have achieved considerable commercial success abroad. Both the album and the single "Electric Feel" charted in the Australian Top 10 and the UK Top 20.

In 2010, MGMT released their second album, Congratulations. Produced by Pete 'Sonic Boom' Kember of Spacemen 3 and featuring guest vocals from Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux, the album was released without any accompanying singles. Tending towards madcap arrangements and an experimental, hectic approach, the band posited it as a more accurate representation of MGMT. "We dropped any sort of irony that was on the first record, and Congratulations feels true to who we really are," VanWyngarden told Spin. 

"a noisy New Order-style synth jam" - Kevin O'Donnell, Rolling Stone