June 22, 2010

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

Ah, the Flaming Lips. The spacey American rock band has had quite a run, I'd say. Formed in 1983, the band has had several popular albums such as Soft Bulletin, Clouds Taste Metallic, and Yoshimi battles the pink robots. I admit, I don't listen to them often but I was a pretty big fan of Yoshimi. When I first heard about Embryonic, I was pretty darned excited to get back into them. My first impression of the album was mildly disappointing. I mean, what's on that cover anyway? A bearded girl bring held down by her face? She looks like she's desperately trying to eat that pink circle but she doesn't notice she's being held back.The names of the songs also didn't give me that mild chuckle that some other Flaming Lips songs give, like "Yeah, I Know It's a Drag... But Wastin' Pigs Is Still Radical" and "Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)" Yeah, all the song titles are about zodiac signs and whatnot. But you know what they say, ya can't judge a book by it's cover.

So I listened to the songs and again I wasn't wowed. They offer a pretty cool psychedelic trancy feel. But I found that the songs didn't have very good replay value. For me, it's important that once you purchase a song, it's timeless and you always get a kick out of it. After about the 4th or 5th listen, they start to get pretty stale. Not to mention that the songs themselves are pretty repetitive. You keep waiting and waiting and waiting through four minute songs for things to vary or pick up a bit, but it feels like the first minute of the songs are just repeated over again a couple times. In this album, things are a bit too quiet and boring. They have a good idea, the Flaming Lips, but they need to expand on it with some clearer guitar or maybe less "tangled" sounding synthesizers that flow better. There are tons of ways this album could have been improved without varying too much from their style. There are some pretty catchy tunes here, don't get me wrong. Songs like "Worm Mountain" and "Convinced of the Hex" are great, creative songs that you can get in to, especially if you're more of a Flaming Lips fan than I am. But overall, the songs needed to keep more of a clear, consistent rhythm and the album's mellow psychedelic style needed a bit of a face lift, just like our good friend Brendan in the movie reviews department.


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