The Flaming Lips

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I’m just going to leave these here. Do with them as you will.

Tenacious D – Double Team (YSI)

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When I started posting up these episodes, I was enthused. ‘So!’, thought I, ‘I will have an extra post every week. Good!’


Turns out, my subconscious is very convincing in telling me that I’ve actually posted more than I have. I promise I will attempt to rectify that this week.

The Flaming Lips – The Sound of Failure (YSI)

After really getting into them this summer, I had the distinct pleasure of being asked to go and listen to an exclusive play-through of The Flaming Lips’ new album Embryonic last night at my Student Union. Having got their last three albums within a month, and loving each one, I was pretty excited to say the least. Unfortuantely, I have to say I was a little disappointed. My real love for the band tends to be because they manage to use all their experimentalism and noodly weirdness (yeah, that’s a term), but always reign it in. They are that rarest of things, an experimental band with pop sensibilities, an ear for a hook or a catchy riff, something to make you remember the song afterwards.

Embryonic didn’t seem to stick to this ideal at all. Full of freak outs, jams and general messing about, it had so little of that melodic loveliness that made me fall in love so quickly, and I have to say I came away a little despondant. Of course, this was a first listen, and repeated listens are a must, but I can’t see myself falling quite as hard for this album as the others. That being said, it did have its highlights: My favourite song, “Silver Trembling Hands” had already spread over the internet, but its strange screams, galloping drumbeat and echo-heavy vocals keep you hooked throughout, and provide a much-needed injection of energy at the tail-end of the 18-track monster. I’m sure I’ll be buying it, but I have to say, for now, Embryonic is not what I was hoping for.

The Flaming Lips – Silver Trembling Hands (YSI)

I think one thing I love about music is no matter how much you know about, no matter how many bands you treasure, there’s always one more to find out about, to explore and to fall in love with like all the others. Moving to uni has been eye opening in that department, and with a whole new group of friends, there’s a whole new wealth of music that I’ve missed out on to find out about. The most recent discovery has always been in my radar, and right under my nose, but I’ve just been too lazy to ever get round to putting some effort in and listening. That discovery is The Flaming Lips.

My friend George said the best way to get into them is by working backwards through their albums, so I got my grubby mits on a copy of At War With The Mystics and started my journey. I can’t say I’ve been quite so happy and upset at the same time – happy that it’s absolutely brilliant, and upset that I’ve wasted so much time not listening to them. The singles, “The YeahYeahYeah Song”, “It Overtakes Me” and “The W.A.N.D.”, I already knew, but the rest of the album is just as good. From the soothing tones and gentle buildup of “My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion” to the lilting indie-inflected strums of the well punctuated “Mr. Ambulance Driver”, every song has something a little different from the last, but it makes for a bafflingly diverse and at times exquisitely beautiful album. Don’t make my mistake, go and get it now!

The Flaming Lips – My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion (YSI)