Neo-Psychedelia is a trend that kicked off when the children of the original Hippies decided to get together and made some music some decades after the 1960s. The Flaming Lips are one of these types of bands that specialise in Neo-Psychedelia. This is their finest hour. Led by singer Wayne Coyne, this should be an interesting and diverse listen musically. Let’s dive in and have a listen to this album, which is widely seen as a classic in its own way.
Fight Test begins with some gurgling sounds and crowd cheering, before launching right into a catchy and interesting piece of music with a load of electronics and some acoustic guitar strummed. From the go, this is a very interesting, strong and different piece of music that is designed to stand out from the crowd. Wayne Coyne’s singing is very soothing, warm and natural sounding. The instrumentation present in this song is great sounding and puts a lot of the music since this album was released to shame. Not a dull moment is present. Around the middle of the song, a lovely string sound is thrown into a mix that has nice singing, subdued electric guitar and quirky electronics. Although LSD culture derived from the Hippie movement is almost gone today, one can hear this marvellous music. An unforgettable track, and 100% worth your time. This is one of the greatest songs in Neo-Psychedelia that you will ever hear. The song concludes with cheering and clapping from an audience, and a voiceover that is cut up and looped, along with a final keyboard sound to finish. Nice effort already, and this is the opening track alone.
One More Robot / Sympathy 3000-21 is a five-minute-long piece. It begins with spacey digitised textures that have a slight air of melancholy about them. Soon enough, beats and basslines enter. From the start, this is a listenable and exciting piece of music. If this is music for people in the 21st century to trip to, this is awesome for that purpose. Having said that, this is great on its own when sober. An awesome, quirky and trippy listen, The Flaming Lips show themselves to be interesting and amazing musicians in many, many ways. The story is obviously based far into the future and although this album isn’t officially a concept album with its lyrical imagery, it may as well be so. In any case, this futuristic listen is something to be cherished. In the second half, the opening textures are repeated, sounding somewhat like MS-DOS computer-based sounds. Some soft guitars come over the top of it all before other instrumentation gently concludes this wonderful tune. A very good listen, and this album is definitely underrated.
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 begins with cut-up acoustic guitar that is very interesting, Hip Hop styled beats and other quirky and odd sounds and textures. This is obviously the centrepiece of the album, and it sounds great and marvellous. This is a tale of a lady who takes on evil machines with a black belt in Karate. Surreal, but awesome. Let’s hope that humanity’s future is not one where AI controls our lives, just like what was warned about in The Matrix film. That aside, this is a very soothing, clever and enjoyable listen throughout. An anthemic and excellent song that deserves a place in your listening time. There is a gurgling keyboard section instead of a guitar solo present before Wayne Coyne gets singing again. A really great and soothing piece of music, this is a rather quirky sounding tune that is perfect to hear after a long day at work. Imaginative, surreal and tripped out, The Flaming Lips do this song justice. It ends with a loud keyboard sound that is interesting, before finishing abruptly.
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2 begins with squelching noises, before some loud and powerful drumbeats enter. This is very unusual, but intelligently so. The mix of sounds, textures and noise present in this piece is definitely unusual. No singing is present, just a very interesting piece of music that gives a nod of appreciation to The Chemical Brothers. Awesome listening, even for an instrumental. There is a loud and wacky mixing of shouting and screaming before this piece continues. Interesting. There are some sampled bells and furious drumming right at the end before this tune concludes with more audience cheering.
In the Morning of the Magicians is the longest song on this album. It begins with some odd and melancholy sounding wet keyboard sounds, with some basic percussion and sounds to grab your attention. This quickly goes into an instrumental breakdown that definitely sounds different, before strummed acoustic guitar enters and we enter an interesting song that has some very surreal lyrics. Wayne Coyne’s singing here is reassuring and beautiful, which perfectly matches the mood of this song and album. If anything, this is a good ballad that sounds really pretty and tripped out. Towards the middle, the drums and percussion really get going nicely. There are no guitar solos present, just a nice set of layered sounds. A very sweet and gorgeous listen, this is something that sounds really cool. The lyrics are imaginative and impressionistic, showcasing that music as an art form is to be cherished. The alternative side of music (selling out) is to be avoided. Nonetheless, a relaxing and very well executed tune, it illuminates one’s listening mood and takes them somewhere else. A really good tune, and it is very interesting for a song over six minutes. Great work, it ends with more clapping and cheering from an audience, seemingly a theme on this album.
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell begins with some stereo panned and odd textures, before going into a sonic groove with acoustic guitars. This is a funky and weird piece of music that sounds very logical and nicely delivered. Wayne Coyne’s singing sounds very beautiful and melodic, and the rest of the band put in the effort to showcase their genuine talent. The strummed acoustic guitars are great, and the other sounds are just far out. Enjoyable and laidback listening, this is very much music to imagine or trip out to. Great music is here. The second half has some flute, piano and other unusual sounds enter into this song. A really awesome, dramatic and interesting piece, this is a great album present here. Awesome tune, it fades out slowly and gently at the end. Very gentle and nice.
Are You A Hypnotist?? begins with some keyboard gospel vocals, before punchy drums enter, along with some additional pleasant keyboard textures. This is a soothing listen, and it exudes character and interesting sounds. Soon enough, singing begins and this song sounds very psychedelic and unique. The unorthodox sounds on these songs will keep your attention throughout. The chorus reaches an emotional climax that sounds unforgettable, along with the gospel singing as well. This piece actually sounds fairly close to Coldplay’s more spaced out songs, but it’s not Chris Martin singing here. A really hypnotic, interesting and great listen, this song is a deep and different listen. The climax towards the end is really top, and the furious drumming and gospel vocals overflow the mix nicely. This song finishes up nicely, an interesting tune.
It’s Summertime begins with some unusual keyboard sounds, before launching into yet more strummed acoustic guitars and clean electric guitar parts. Wayne Coyne sings from a reassuring place in this song, he sounds very relaxed and positive. Although this is one of the lesser album cuts, this sure does sound very pretty and amazing. This is a good mixture of neo-psychedelic music and poetic lyricism. There is a bit of a breakdown near the middle, before the singing resumes and summer is definitely here, regardless of if you are frozen cold in winter, the imagery will take you to summertime. Another decent tune and a really good listen. The song gets rather subdued towards the end, leaving a single keyboard patch being played with loads of effects layered onto it. This song concludes with edited drumbeats, nice work.
Do You Realise?? is the most popular cut from this album. It begins with a strange count in, followed by pounding tom-tom drums and bright acoustic guitar. This is a romantic-sounding piece of music and is probably popular for that reason. The song itself is rather slow and gentle, but the beats in it make it feel less so like that. This surreal and somewhat psychedelic listen has a key change, which kind of makes this piece a bit different. Questioning the existence of life, this song is a very introspective and enjoyable listen. The song concludes with a slowed-down finish and another spacey keyboard texture. Excellent.
All We Have Is Now begins with pounding keyboards and has Wayne Coyne singing nicely immediately. This song continues the concept of AI and the future that is prevalent throughout this album, despite the fact that this is not officially a concept album per se. Still, the music is simple, melodic and pretty, something that many Pop stars of today’s postmodern world cannot match. Singing about making contact with one’s future self, this is a very strange song on this album. Regardless, this is just as enjoyable as the other songs on this album. Towards the end, guitars and other textures swirl to and fro between the left and right channels, before this finishes. Great work.
Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia) is the last track on this album, beginning with some powerful sounding drum beats, and quickly launches into a gentle and easy listening piece of music that sounds well thought out. This tune really sounds quite interesting, it is an awesome and great instrumental to conclude this sonic trip. There are some really nicely used sounds and samples on this song, plus a trumpet solo, too. It sounds like Miles Davis crawling out of his own grave to make some new music. Nonetheless, a good finish to a decent album and this is a good listen throughout.
The Flaming Lips did a good job on this album, combining a mixture of old and new musical styles and pioneering such a sound to maximum effect. The music here is of very good quality. Any flaws? Very few. There is plenty of praise deserved present for these guys on this album. Unfortunately, Wayne Coyne was later featured on one of the worst ever songs by The Chemical Brothers, The Golden Path. It’s better to remember him from here, not from that track, however.
Decent and interesting.