North Texas Daily

The Flaming Lips get futuristic on ‘Embryonic’

The Flaming Lips get futuristic on ‘Embryonic’

October 08
21:37 2009

By Graciela Razo / Senior Staff Writer –

Known for their outlandish stage performances with lead singer Wayne Coyne walking over the audience in an inflatable globe, The Flaming Lips are shocking fans once again with their 12th studio album, “Embryonic.”

Their latest album encompasses all that is The Flaming Lips: experimental noises, spontaneous outbursts and cosmic lyrics.

The band’s more recent followers may not identify with this album, but veteran listeners are more likely to see Coyne’s methods of imagination.

“Embryonic” quickly develops into what the soundtrack of a trip to some intergalactic destination would sound like, complete with subtle synthesizers and eerie vocals.

Songs such as “Evil” and “Aquarius Sabotage” draw out the feeling of the album. Delicate background voices sounding like they are being recorded over a telephone and heavy bass lines are paired together perfectly.

“Powerless” is another marvel on the album. Ringing guitar strings set the pace, and not much else on the song becomes important.

Halfway through “Embryonic,” listening to each song becomes a tricky thing to do. On this album especially, The Flaming Lips are not an easy-listening band.

Much appreciation for the instrumentation of the album, mostly thanks to guitarist, percussionist, bassist and keyboardist Steven Drozd, is definitely in order.

To mix it up, Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O makes a guest appearance on “Gemini Syringes”, “Watching the Planets” and “I Can Be a Frog,” one of the more fun songs of the album.

Karen O provides background animal noises for “I Can Be a Frog,” lending her animated persona to one of the more entertaining and childlike songs on “Embryonic.”

The closest the Flaming Lips come to producing another mass audience hit like “Do You Realize?” is the serene and no fuss ballad “The Impulse,” even though its attraction may reach only the more familiar fans.

But the futuristic, spacey sounds continue with the album closer while Coyne and Karen O duet to end “Embryonic”.

Consistency and keeping interest could be a difficult ambition on an 18-song album, but somehow, The Flaming Lips do both while making “Embryonic” a creative piece of music.


Overall – 4/5

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