FLAMING LIPS - AT WAR WITH THE MYSTICS
If you hadn't already guessed, album of the week has to go to the Flaming Lips' new offering. Wayne Coyne is the oldest musician I know of who has never gotten stale or hitten a bum note. Every album is distinct and of an awe-inspiring high standard. They've been the biggest band in the world (well, I think Bono and Chris Martin could take a few lessons) for their past two albums now, so there's a certain amount of pressure on them for this one.
But they definitely don't fail to impress. Opening with the helium-infected lunacy of the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song, the choruses continuously stomp back and forth across your speakers. Who are the mystics? They seem to be the unlikely (and largely unmystical) figures of Gwen Stefani, Donald Trump, George Bush and all the world leaders who use their influence for the bad.
Throughout, we can train our ears to try to hear what Coyne's been listening to during the making of the album. There are a few (quite obvious) strains of the incredible acid-folk-prog-rock of Dungen, but there's also evidence of Prince, Polyphonic Spree, OOIOO and even Stravinsky!
There's no doubting that this is the Flaming Lips at the top of their game - perhaps their best - and is a classic for everybody's shelf.
Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
The lead single from the album. For some reason, this song hits me like a condensed radio pop version of their Zaireeka album. Excellent lyrics questioning the power of influence.
Yeah Yeah Yeah Song Video
A bass-heavy handclapping stormer. Apparantly inspired in equal parts by their covers of Black Sabbath's War Pigs and White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.
Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung
Dungen covering The Lion Sleeps Tonight. A Lips' career highlight.