Spun: The Flaming Lips

By Jon Roe

The Flaming Lips have always ensured their albums were immaculately produced. Over the years, the band has developed a distinct sound of fuzzy guitars, electronic blips and beeps and off-kilter instrumentation. However, while all of these elements are present on their latest release Embryonic, it is clear from the start that this is a different Flaming Lips.

From album opener, “Convinced of the Hex,” there is an overbearing darkness to the new sound. Also noticeable are most of the tracks’ slow tempos — there are few rock-out-with-your-cock-out moments on Embryonic, something unusual for the group. It takes until the fourth song, “Aquarius Sabotage,” for the fully-fledged Flaming Lips madness to emerge.

Previous Lips releases have featured at least one pristine and sparklingly produced pop single, such as Yoshimi’s “Do You Realize??” or The Soft Bulletin’s “Race for the Prize.” These songs attracted otherwise unaware fans, letting at least one of the band’s .catchier, more accessible tracks grace their playlists. This is what Embryonic is missing. It’s a double-album with over an hour of atmospheric meanderings, which ends up preaching to the converted, made for the devoted fanbase who follow them everywhere.

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