The Flaming Lips: Embryonic

Music Reviews The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips: Embryonic

Still fearless, still freaks

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne proclaimed that their twelfth studio album would be their most experimental yet. The perennial freak-rockers showed up with more than just a deceptive title to back that assertion: on Embryonic, the Lips trade the pop-flavored peaks and hooks of their previous two albums for an ambitious double-disc acid-haze epic. The album’s somber menacing tone never recedes, leaving Coyne to play apocalyptic preacher over the fuzzy noisebox of vintage Lips (“Gemini Syringes”), and Floydian space jams (“Sagittarius Silver Announcement”). And on the droned-out “Worm Mountain,” some backing vocals from MGMT are levied to combustive effect. There are no standout tracks here a’la “Do You Realize??,” though the lilting and contemplative “Evil” comes close, but that’s wholly to Embryonic’s benefit. Instead, it’s a wonderfully weird parade of sonic delights: an arresting consummation of the Lips’ two-and-a-half decade career.

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