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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Flaming Lips - The Terror - Album Review

Genre: Synth-Pop, Ambient, Psychadelic Rock, Acid Rock

Top Tracks: You Lust, The Terror, Try to Explain, Always There in Our Hearts

I had no plans on reviewing this album at all. I had heard of the Flaming Lips and although I had not heard their music before, I immediately assumed that they were not for me after hearing their strange cover of the entire Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd. Well, I am happy to say that I was completely wrong about the Flaming Lips because upon listening to this record, I realized that it is an incredibly interesting album and I am still curious to listen to it and unearth some of the possible hidden secrets behind it.

The Flaming Lips are one of the better known psychadelic rock groups around the modern music scene today. Despite their current appeal, the band was formed in 1983 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The band is known for their signature lush, full, yet layered style of music. The Flaming Lips approach their albums however they feel like doing so at the time, not giving a crap about the rules and industry as proven by their cosmic, unique albums. The Flaming Lips are one those bands that can either hook in an audience with their synth pop almost MGMT mimic style or keep the contemporary audience at a safe distance with their spacey and "out there" sound.

It's safe to say that the band's 13th studio album, The Terror, falls under the category of space rock. The first thing I have to say about this album is that it is very strange. Strange in the fact that anyone who listens to The Terror with the hopes of finding something specific will not find it. This album is interpretive, open-minded and very VERY psychadelic. I can safely assume that the Flaming Lips abused drugs in the making of this album as they so often do with their records. However, I personally do not get offended by musicians who do drugs while writing music. As long as it makes a musician come up with ideas, it is acceptable to me and although I do not advocate the use of illegal drugs, most of the greatest bands of all time did this and it worked incredibly well for them.

In a short commercial that I saw for this album, the band's lead singer, Wayne Coyne stood in front of a camera and claimed that The Terror sounded like a futuristic cult coming back to the present day via this record in order to warn the current population of an impending future conflict. And I'll be damned if this is not exactly what it sounds like. Some of the sounds on this album are so beautiful, so enlightening and most importantly, they are so varied! The Terror is more than a mere collection of random ambient vibes and sounds, it is colorful, bright, and layered. It shows why the Flaming Lips have managed to stay in the game of psych rock by creating new sounds constantly.

For example, the opening track "Look....The Sun is Rising" starts off incredibly ominously almost like a spaceship is landing on Earth and creating chaos by leaving the masses of people at its wake in absolute awe. At least that's what I immediately thought of for some reason. This is the main beauty within this album. I'm sure Wayne Coyne and company had totally different ideas in these songs when they were writing them, but music that is this psychadelic and trippy can be thought of in ANY way by any person who listens. That's the beauty of it and anyone who says this album lacks a clear direction or message is missing the point. This album is beautiful and if you listen carefully it can mean anything you want it to.

For The Terror, I have to say that it was an incredibly fun listen. I enjoyed the album very much and it made me feel many different emotions throughout which is usually my only criteria for listening to music. One moment you could be intently picking apart the layers and sounds from the Flaming Lips and another you could be lost within the beauty of the album pondering about your greatest fears and problems. All in all, the album felt darker than any other Flaming Lips album. It really connected with me and I am really enjoying it.

I recommend anyone who enjoys music of any kind listen to The Terror. All I ask, is you open your mind and become susceptible to the possibilities and changes that listening to this type of genre possibly brings forth. If you are a closed-minded music fan with one specific genre of enjoyment, you are limiting yourself and preventing yourself from discovering all types of sometimes strange yet incredible music. The Terror a strange listen but it is very powerful and for this reason it's one my favorite releases so far in 2013.

Final Score: 8/10 Great Album.