Review: The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips
““Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots””
(Warner Brothers)

The Flaming Lips have achieved “can do no wrong” status in most critics minds and I suppose they’’ve come damn close to earning it for being around as long as they have, putting as many crazy albums as they have (several of their most extreme on a very major major label) and just being themselves to a T.  Their latest release still finds them doing everything they do best, but a little less of it.  If someone would have told me this was a kind of trip-hop remix of their new album and not the album itself, I would have
believed them.  Aside from the vocals and the frequently digitally-altered acoustic guitars, “Yoshimi” mostly consists of laid-back electro-pop programming and “studio as main instrument” kind of production.

Comparisons to recent Radiohead albums are inevitable and perhaps merited, but the Flaming Lips can and will do whatever they want, despite peoples expectations.  While not a masterpiece (which is what everyone practically demands of them from now on) overall it is an appealing listen that surpasses the work of many of their indie-pop peers and all of their followers.  It’s sort of like eating hallucinogenic cotton candy you’d buy
at some other-worldly Hello Kitty store where you can’’t, and may not want to, find the exit.