Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots(Warner Bros.) Buy it from Insound
When the days hang heavy and the need for a lift from the mire is almost unbearably nauseous, a little ray of positivity seems galaxies away. Thank the fictitious deity of folklore for The Flaming Lips then, because they make the dark days worth enduring.
They are one of the few bands that manage to balance on the tightrope of genius, without plummeting into arty wank territory, whilst at the same time writing amazingly life affirming pop tunes.
On this, their latest journey into the sublime, Wayne Coyne and crew expand on the musical and emotional themes that ruled the glorious Soft Bulletin opus. It starts off with Fight Test, which is a very close cousin (almost incestuous) of a certain Cat Stevens song, but it is so wonderful, that you can forgive their creative plagiarism. Songs fly by with strange and beautiful twists and turns, and just when you think that they have shown their hand, a sound or melody or tempo change makes the hairs on your body stand to attention again. It is, however, the double whammy of It's Summertime and the first single Do You Realize?, that truly break your heart and save your soul simultaneously. I dare you not to laugh or cry when Coyne sings "Do you realize, that everyone you know, someday will die?" and then later follows it with "...let them know, you realise the sun doesn't go down; it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round".
Fundamentally, the album is based around the concept, that life is scattered with random shots of excruciating pain, but there is such beauty and wonder to be found that you need to hang onto it as it passes and cherish it's fleeting brilliance. The way in which The Flaming Lips have managed this with such style, is testament to the genuine enthusiasm for life that the people involved have. This is the equivalent of having sunshine beaming from your speakers. Breathtaking!14 July, 2002 - 23:00 — Mark Mason