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Wrapping up the 90’s. This is not just a great album, this is an unbelievably rare album. Albums like this come once in a lifetime for most bands. Few bands are able to create musical experiences that could be called religious just out of their sheer beauty.
This album is beautiful, desperate, hopeless, hopeful, lost and constantly searching. This album reaches into your heart and holds it from beginning to end.
The Flaming Lips are deceptively simple, with songs like “Buggin'” and “Race for the Prize” which contain what seem to be simple lyrics or a simple story, but it’s never that simple. Reach deeper into the album, do a little more research. “Race for the Prize” isn’t about a race, it’s not about a scientist it’s about finding a passion for something and loving it so much that you would hit rock bottom for it.
Songs like “Suddenly Everything Has Changed” are introspectively genius, and with the mere descriptions of everyday tasks (folding laundry, putting away groceries, driving a car) and those being the moments in which everything changes.
“Waiting For Superman” is a beautiful song about desperation and waiting for the saving grace to lift up everything up of our shoulders that’s “gettin’ heavy.”
Outside of the incredible lyrical beauty is the best production job I’ve heard in years on par with the likes of Brian Wilson’s “Pet Sounds.” The album itself bears many parallels to Pet Sounds with the diverse array of instruments and sounds with orchestra, also the beautiful instrumental interludes, plus an overall wall of sound Phil Spector-ish boom to everything, especially within “The Gash.” It’s been said that music is a combination of sounds and silences, in “The Gash” the second is completely omitted.
The Flaming Lips encompass everything I love about music. They’re catchy, with wonderful hooks, they make incredible ear opening sounds that just amaze, the production is deep and complex, and above all they say something without saying “Look at us! We’re saying something!” Every step of their work is done with complete humility, almost as if they’re surprised anyone would care. Their music goes completely off the edge, with visions as great and far reaching that completely challenged and destroyed everything we ever thought about music. And most importantly, it works. I’ll say I think they’re one of the most genius groups to enter the scene in years. They are musical conceptualists that will always have my attention and interest.