The Flaming Lips: American Head Album Review

Thirty years before this month, The Flaming Lips released their first game-changing album: 1990 In a priest-inspired ambulance. After spending the 80s trying to figure out if they wanted to be a props replacement or punk floyd, Lipsing did what Priest With an interstellar noise-pop sound that still retains a distinct Oklahoman flavor, the fair is complete with ground noise, field recordings of the cricketer, and strange songs about Jesus. In a priest-inspired ambulance It is also the first installment to become an installment: Lips Tradition: releasing motion-setting albums at every turn of the decade. Nine years later, his orchestra opus The soft bulletin Started the band’s royal era, while 2009’s Fetus Depicted an extended period of wild, anti-pop experimentation. The band’s debut album of 2020 similarly marked another significant change; In this case, however, it feels less like the start of a new journey than a homecoming.

Unlike Lips’ recent adventures in story fiction, American chief Oklahoma finds its inspiration in a mysterious piece of musicology. Tom Petty After Revisiting Documentary Runnin ‘down a dream After the 2017 death of the rock legend, the Lips ringer fixated with the story of Wild Coin Petty’s pre-heartbreakers band, Mudrich, with whom Petty spent time in Tulsa in the early-’70s en route to LA Was from Tales, Coyen and Multi-. Instrumentalist Steven Drozd conceived American chief As a work of speculative fiction, the reopening of the Lips as a drugged-out local Oakloman rock band hung out with the previously closed Paytm as they passed through the city.

As it turns out, the mythical ’70s landscape is actually a roundabout way of getting the lips back to where they were in the 90s. American chief Maintains some symphonic sweep Soft bulletin The era of his post and the strange futureFetus State, but, at its core, we find that the band is rejuvenating their previous romance with Neil Young’s piano ballad, the Beatles’ psychedelic guitar tones and Bowie’s stargazing anthem. Similarly, Coyne approaches his favorite subjects – love, drugs, and death – from a less existential, more personal easement, grounding his narration in more natural settings. Instead of tunes about killer robots and unicorns with violet eyes, we get lyrics about people working in slaughterhouses and cutting coke on the sidelines to get, the aptitude to try LSD, and horrifying memories. K recounts horrific memories, and plays off real traumatic events. Coin’s early years.

In a 2005 band documentary Fearless devil, We are watching old home-movie footage of Coen and his brothers enjoying all the American-adolescence of the ’70s, playing pick-up football with local longevity, before a deeper narrative emerges Is – especially the drug habit that would land his brother Tommy. Inside and outside the prison. American chief One feels that this innocence was born from this moment of loss. Although not a concept album per story, each song feels like a vignette from some tragic sequel dazed and Confused, Where reckless teenage kicks have given way to the unforgivable realities of young adulthood. (And while this is clearly not an autobiographical work, stating that one of its doomed characters is also named Tommy.)

“What’s gone wrong? / Now all your friends are gone,” Coyne sings on the album’s most brilliant Melanolly opener, “Will You Return / When You Come Down,” and as American chief Plays out, that absence takes many forms. Equally on Crestafen “The Flowers of Neptune 6”, his old acid-eating pulse is sent to battle or imprisoned; “Mommy I Took LSD,” at the orchestral centerpiece, turns into his young naive grief as he is taken out of a mental ward after a motorcycle accident and sings to another friend on life support. But as the album’s title suggests, these types of crises are endemic to the American psyche and sustain themselves for generations. While these songs may be loosely based on events from Koine’s past, they talk about the current state of the country, where working teens are still often forced to choose between military, addiction, prison, or death. Occur. “Now, I see the sorrow in the world,” Coin sings on the latter track as the strings come in, “I’m sorry I hadn’t seen it before.” This is a line that is particularly difficult in 2020, when much of the world is getting ready to go back both ways, while COVID is already leaving its eyes open to social ills and inequalities. She is celebrating with everyone.

but American chief Handles this heavy subject matter with a light touch, framing its stories in a magic-realistic sunset atmosphere that also gives an earthly charm to its most spectacular songs. Bernard sound effects and “You Me Celine ‘Weed” break up with each other — for young dealers in love — according to the group’s more fickle mid-’90s list to the OOD people, as Dixie during the record says. Glam guitars slide. Call the soul of Ronald Jones, the former string-render of the group. And for added authentic Southern flavor, the three tracks feature vocals from Casey Mussaregwes, the latest pop star to be trapped in Lep’s supersonic circus. However, unlike his previous match-ups with Keisha and Miley, Musgraves serves more as a text-enhancement for the album’s fading-summer miles, lending his fictional wordless sighs to the instrument “Lightbugs Glow Seeing “as someone familiar with vision. , And her fellow tracks float in the background of “Neptune 6’s Fool” as if in harmony with a lifetime. Even on his proper duet “God and the Policeman”, he is not so much seizing the spotlight from Coyne as playing the character of the angel on his shoulder in a moment of crisis.

American chief Coin hits her emotional peak with “Mother Please Be the Sad,” a fictional account of Coin’s real-life experience robbing her at gunpoint while working at the 80s Long John Silver Back. Here, he imagines himself fatally shot and doing his mother’s bidding with “Bohemian Rapsody” -Worthy Gravitas, before the song’s hypnotic mental-jazz sequel “When We Die When Here We Hear” , Insist on white light. but American chief Comes to a quiet full-cycle conclusion with “My Religion Is You,” which provides an easy indication for how much Lips have changed in the last 30 years, and how much they haven’t.

On In a priest-inspired ambulance, The Lips closed the set of Sacred Psychedelia with an earnest cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” ritual, early signs of Coyle’s future role as Cuckoo’s future lead motivational speaker . “My Religion Is You” is an infinitely more beautiful performance, yet Coin’s affinity for the simple, optimistic spirit remains. On the surface, it is a song of devotion expressed in the language of heretics — “I don’t need any religion,” Coyne sings, “I need you.” But, coming to the end of a record that is reeling from massive loss and change, “My Religion Is You” is an open invitation for you to hold onto whatever it is – whether it is Jesus, Buddha , Or, in Coin’s case, family — it can help make this scary world feel a little more amazing.

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