The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

The Flaming Lips were in danger of becoming a self parody what with the sometimes forced jollity of their live shows fast becoming an irritant. If they just concentrated on playing the music and left out all the fey hippy nonsense that Wayne Coyne seems to be obsessed with, then I for one would appreciate them all the more.

Then along comes Embryonic, a return to form, certainly musically, and for the some part lyrically too, after the disappointing At War With The Mystics. Apparently semi improvised, the music on this album charges along through all kinds of influences like a bull in a china shop, and is full of the quirky surprises Lips fans have come to expect. It sounds fresher than of late and it sounds like they all had a thoroughly good time in the making of the album.

Lyrically however, the whole album is full of love vs evil imagery, sometimes so literally you'd think it was aimed at an audience of 10 year olds. I for one soon tire of this and concentrate more on the tunes! There are exceptions - Convinced Of The Hex is a powerful opener with drugs & sex, The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine is a simple yet evocative tale, and as for the barking mad I Can Be A Frog, well all I can say is it made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it.

All in all a good album, but The Soft Bulletin remains their best work by a country mile. Will they ever top it?
 
3.5 out of 5
#4

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