So the last two quotes I’ve read concerning The Flaming Lips are thus. The first comes right from the greying horse’s mouth – à la Wayne Coyne – and has to do with the composition of the shapeshifting, genre-morphing Oklahoma ensemble’s forthcoming thirteenth studio LP, The Terror. It reads a lil’ summin’ like:
“Why would we make this music that is The Terror – this bleak, disturbing record…?? I don’t really want to know the answer that I think is coming: that WE were hopeless, WE were disturbed and, I think, accepting that some things are hopeless… or letting hope in one area die so that hope can start to live in another?? Maybe this is the beginning of the answer.”
Then the next, which goes little to no way to responding to the above inquisitions, comes from Steve Shannon – Hyundai Motor America’s Vice President of Marketing – and that one goes as follows:
“The Flaming Lips are very much like Hyundai. They’re a little offbeat. They’ve been around a long time and they continue to reinvent themselves.”
Now, both struck me as somewhat outré divulgences to hurl at a band to have once written albums around the concept of taciturn young Japanese girls doing battle with metaphorical pink robots and so forth. Yes, they may ceaselessly “continue to reinvent themselves” (and far more discernibly so than Hyundai ever have), though they’ve sporadically downgraded to various lesser versions of themselves, an example of which would surely be their latest – the scatterbrained collaborative endeavour that was The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. That one was arguably a darker, and indeed more “disturbing” listen than, say, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, although the below – entitled Sun Blows Up Today – certainly sounds better suited to a humdrum commercial than it does in any way bleak. I mean it’s just about the most luminescent recording Coyne et al. have laid down since Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber) or something, and sounds about as bleak as The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power) does sociopolitically negligent.
Of course Sun Blows Up Today could never sit easy amidst the supposed doom, gloom, and disquiet of their latest, and as such is already down as a non-album effort although that they should allow this glowing return to form of sorts to miss out on the adoration it immediately appeals to would seem somewhat remiss of ‘em, really…
The Terror is anticipated April 1st via Bella Union.