The Flaming Lips - American Head
At the top of their third decade, the Lips rekindle their past romance with Neil Young’s piano ballads, the Beatles’ psychedelic guitar tones, and Bowie’s stargazing anthems on a deeply personal album.Fri Sep 11 05:00:00 GMT 2020
The Guardian 40
The American art-rockers try to revisit commercial highs, but their cliches fail to convince
Some bands are lifelong art projects; others are mechanisms for quarterly profit reports. The Flaming Lips and their garrulous singer-spokesman Wayne Coyne want to be seen as the former, although this album suggests they wouldn’t mind being the latter again. There are plenty of the winsome melodies and psychedelic curlicues of their commercial peak 20 years ago here, and instead of 40-car orchestras or quadrophonic freakouts they offer several pleasant but boring rewrites of the Beatles’ Across the Universe.
Coyne’s quivering voice still captures the frailty of the human spirit, and his band have made songs that will draw tears from frazzled audiences until the Earth slides into the sea. Yet too many of his death-obsessed drug lyrics are lamely predictable and uninvolving, and swaddling his vocals in effects until he sounds like Rob Brydon’s “man in a box” doesn’t help. Dinosaurs on the Mountain could’ve been written by a depressed seven-year-old; Mother I’ve Taken LSD strains for the faux-naive nostalgia of Pulp’s Sorted for E’s and Wizz then settles for saccharine whimsy. Worse, At the Movies on Quaaludes is a daisy chain of cliches, each less evocative than the last.Continue reading... Sun Sep 13 12:00:04 GMT 2020