Whereas we find our heavy metallers always in a black mood, it is not so the case for the trippies. Pyschedelic rock has always been embodied with many colours, has had many hues (even black and white), at times it has had so many shades you forget what is happening and just step back and enjoy.
So it is 2009 and the Flaming Lips have come out with yet another album, and it is Pyschdelic Rock? With overdubs and echoes and other studio trickery? Erratic song structures which have no continuity? Lush soundscapes? Synths and vocoders and bullshit? And to top it all, it goes on for 70 minutes?
Well let me tell you I cannot keep awake that long. Nor do I remember what exactly happened in this album. It just came and went, lulling me into sleep, all I can say is that it was something good. This was one time when I went to sleep because..well not because of boredom. Because some music is meant to be listened to like that. By going to sleep. (Another example of this is Sigur Ros’s Agaetis B er….)
The Flaming Lips instead of creating any sort of songs (in the conventional sense) went for the old “come hither you trippers and let us paint a potrait for you” album, where the album is not meant to be listened to song by song, but rather as a whole, this album means to be an album, you cannot listen to one song alone, but you just listen to it and forget about the names of the songs and all the other shit. Just lay back, enjoy, go to sleep…..
The Pink Floyd (early era) comparisons are obvious. The sounds that pop out of this here record take you back to…… lets say “Pow R Toc H” from “Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, and something in Wayne Coyne’ s voice just, only just, a teeny-weeny bit, but still, captures Barrett’s madness and wistfulness (of all the damn adjectives I use that one. But what else do you say about a voice which recites “Moonshine, Washing Lines”?) which was suited to the Piper album and helps makes this trip into psychedelia land just that more trippier, stranger, darker.
Would I recommend it? Yeah, I would. I am not gonna listen to this album everyday, it has no catchy pop hooks or songs that are likely to keep going in my head all day long, this is no Pixies, it is meant to be pyschedelic and its all about the hues and the colours and sonicscapes. And yes, the picture has been painted well.
P.S-I am enjoying this album more and more after each repeated listen. I change my recommendation to one of “Highly Recommended”. Buy this shit.
P.P.S- Despite what I said about going to sleep, its not a peaceful, easy listening album. Some of the songs are absolutely abrasive and alienating at times. It is just that I feel very sleepy today, or you might go to sleep while listening to this but might wake up in between, or you might see bad dreams when they embark on a particularly acid trip in between like on “See the Leaves”.
LSD + Flaming Lips not enough? Check out our other PROGRESSIVE/ART/PSYCHEDELIC reviews.
But if you’d rather that they are ALTERNATIVE ROCK, go HERE for more ALT ROCK reviews.
More Flaming Lips HERE. (At the point of writing this, Embryonic is the only one, but this is for later)