In appreciation – The Flaming Lips (part 4 of 4)

Album: At War With The Mystics (2006)

The eleventh album by the Flaming Lips, and my third favorite from their career. The LP is more guitar-driven and features more politically themed lyrics than The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
The track “It Overtakes Me” was featured as the soundtrack to a UK television commercial for Beck’s beer, and “The W.A.N.D.” has been used in European advertisements.

The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat) – The Flaming Lips

Mr. Ambulance Driver – The Flaming Lips

The sound of failure/it’s dark…is it always this dark – The Flaming Lips

Vein Of Stars – The Flaming Lips

It Overtakes Me / The Stars Are So Big… I Am So Small… Do I Stand a Chance? – The Flaming Lips

Album: Spider-Man 3: Music From And Inspired By (2007)

The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-man How To Be In Love – The Flaming Lips

Album: Embryonic (2009)

While Embryonic (2009) was critically acclaimed, it is (similar to the band’s early work) simply too noisy for me to enjoy in its entirety.

Gemini Syringes – The Flaming Lips

I Can Be A Frog – The Flaming Lips

Listeners, any thoughts on the albums above? This brings to a close my Flaming Lips appreciation, I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted! In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be sharing Johnny Cash music

In appreciation – The Flaming Lips (part 3 of 4)

Album: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

The tenth album by The Flaming Lips, characterized by electronic-influenced, psychedelic-tinged alternative rock compositions.

Despite the story-type title and science fiction themes of the album, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has said the album is not intended to be a concept album. The lyrics of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots concern a diverse array of subject matter, mostly deeply melancholy ponderings about love, mortality, artificial emotion, pacifism, and deception, while telling the story of Yoshimi’s battle.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots appeared in the best albums of the decade lists of many music magazines, such as Rolling Stone (#27) and Uncut (#11). Fortune magazine described the album as “a lush and haunting electronic symphony.” Calling the album “as strange as it is wonderful,” Billboard magazine explained, “Beneath the sunny, computer-generated atmospherics and the campy veneer of talk about gladiator-style clashes between man and machines with emotions, Yoshimi is actually a somber rumination on love and survival in an unfathomable world.” Giving the album four-out-of-five stars, Rolling Stone called the production “ambitious”. Uncut declared “even by their standards, Yoshimi is astonishing” before declaring it the greatest album released in the magazine’s lifetime.

Do You Realize?? – The Flaming Lips

One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21 – The Flaming Lips

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1 – The Flaming Lips

Fight Test – The Flaming Lips

Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell – The Flaming Lips

The Golden Path – The Chemical Brothers (feat. Flaming Lips) (2003)

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F4679406 Chemical brothers feat the flaming lips – the golden path by Chemicalbrothers

Listeners, thoughts on the music?

In appreciation – The Flaming Lips (part 2 of 4)

Album: The Soft Bulletin (1999)

Hands down my favorite album by The Flaming Lips. Their ninth LP, it was released to wide critical acclaim, and a departure from their previous guitar-heavy experimental rock, into a more accessible sounding music with catchy melodies, electronic beats and synthesizers.

The cover artwork of the album is a modified version of a photograph taken by Lawrence Schiller for a 1966 Life magazine article on LSD.

The Soft Bulletin (1999) is arguably The Flaming Lips’ magnum opus, though Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002) is also in that conversation of which is their greatest LP.

Pitchfork Media ranked The Soft Bulletin 3rd on the Top 100 albums of the 1990s list, and awarded it a rare score of 10.0.
In 2006, The Soft Bulletin and its acclaimed follow-up Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots were added to the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

What is the light? – The Flaming Lips

(Love the piano and drum beat on this track. Could be the most mysterious lyrics on the album, the words are whatever you want them to mean. Perhaps about someone just completely floored by someone else’s aura. The light is love, beauty, or whatever X you are attracted to, and being drawn to the other person’s light.
Or could the song be not about a specific person, but that love is something emanating from all of us, and is drawing us all in and surrounding us. But is it merely a chemical thing, or something even grander?

Feeling Yourself Disintegrate – The Flaming Lips

(This song can bring a tear to my eye. Dealing with mortality, perhaps the lyric “feeling yourself disintegrate” is about all the love you can have for life, our time on earth is short, and love as much as you can, because it’s all temporary. Or perhaps about how you feel when someone you love leaves you, either in a break-up, or losing a relative. Losing a part of yourself because the other person has gone.
I’ve read songwriter/lead vocalist Wayne Coyne wrote it about his dad dying. In fact, the whole album can be listened to as coming to terms with the death of a loved-one)

Waitin’ For Superman – The Flaming Lips

(Possibly ‘Superman’ is a metaphor for all the figures that people expect to fix everything, politicans, doctors, parents, etc. But just because they don’t have the magic fix doesn’t mean they don’t care, so people have to hold on. Although there are people out there with superhuman love, their abilities, though possibly extraordinary, are still human, and it may not happen as perfectly as it does in the comics/cartoons/movies. Why can’t you fix everything, Obama?, says more about the public than the politician. Trying to help out but its just too much. Some things have to be left to the individual.
‘Superman’ could be a reference to God, people shouldn’t be totally inactive just waiting for a miracle to happen. They have to help themselves too.
You could also look at the song as a child thinking of there dad as being a superman and this time its just to heavy for superman to lift.

Wayne Coyne: “A sad, philosophical song, that I think gives you hope at the end”

(Iron & Wine included an acoustic cover of the song on the album “Around the Well” in 2009)

Sleeping On The Roof – The Flaming Lips

(instrumental)

The Observer – The Flaming Lips

(instrumental)

Race For The Prize (Mokran Remix) – The Flaming Lips

(About our struggles to make something of our lives, and the limitations that we face represented by the line “they’re just human, with wives and children.” Saying that the developers of a cure are not God.
There is a sizable amount of selfish motive in the title “race for the prize”, but we shouldn’t be racing against another, the human race should be pulling together, and as the lyric states, working as a team “side by side” .

Are you a fan of The Flaming Lips? Any thoughts on the music above?

Sources:
songmeanings.net
Wayne Coyne interview

In appreciation – The Flaming Lips (part 1 of 4)

Part 2 next week. The song selections are in no way representative of their sound, instead randomly picked tracks that I enjoyed the most when listening to their full body of work. So let’s get to the music!

Album: Oh My Gawd!!! (1987)

Love Yer Brain – The Flaming Lips

Album: In a Priest Driven Ambulance (1990)

There You Are: Jesus Song No. 7 – The Flaming Lips

Album: Hit To Death In The Future Head (1992)

You Have To Be Joking Autopsy – The Flaming Lips

Album: Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)

Chewin the Apple of Your Eye

Plastic Jesus – The Flaming Lips

Album: Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)

Evil Will Prevail – The Flaming Lips

Bad Days – The Flaming Lips

Do you own any Flaming Lips albums? Have you seen them live? Which is your favorite record by the group? Am I asking too many questions? 😀