Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell EP Album reviews.
Release Date: 11.18.03
Record label: Warner Bros.
Sunny Side Up
by: bill aicher
As has become standard fare for a Flaming Lips EP, their latest release features a wonderful combination of new, EP-exclusive tracks and remixes of the title track and "Do You Realize," another track from their latest full-length release, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
The album opener, "The Assassination of the Sun," follows The Flaming Lips current trend to craft music at the lighter end of the musical spectrum, with their trademark electronic embellishments. And, as usual Wayne Coyne's spectacular ability to invoke emotion and imagery through his vocals succeeds as well, with lines like "And as you dided in the night / a million stars formed into one / and became another sun / and everything was orange."
The next two tracks, also exclusive to this EP, follow in this "sun" theme. "I'm a Fly in a Sunbeam (Following the Procession of a Stranger)" is nearly a jazz number, albeit an electronically themed instrumental space odyssey of a jazz number. Coyne opens "Sunship Balloons" with a spoken word introduction exploring the benefits of our ability to feel love, and then goes into standard Yoshimi-era Lips fare.
The "Do You Realize??" T.P.S. remix (which I'd assume stands for The Postal Service, as Jimmy Tamborello handles remix duties here) nearly deconstructs the song to the point where all that remains of the original is the vocal line. Still, Tamborello's programming here, as on his work with The Postal Service and Dntel works quite well in it's ambient simplicity, making this remix of "Do You Realize??" worthy of inclusion on the EP - possibly even improving on the original.
The two remixes of "Ego Tripping..." however, do not fare quite as well. The Jason Bentley remix tends to get a bit boring over time with it's repetitive sampling, while the "Self-Admiration with Blow-Up Remix" seems to lose a bit of the punch of the track's original version. Likewise, "A Change at Christmas," from the Flaming Lips' upcoming film "Christmas On Mars" does sound a bit more like a soundtrack piece than a standalone piece... perhaps it has a bit more punch during the holidays, but it just doesn't click here.
Fans of The Flaming Lips will undoubtedly appreciate their latest EP, as the first three exclusive tracks will find themselves at home next to any of their releases from Clouds Taste Metallic on. New fans might be a bit interested to know that the original album version of "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell" is nowhere to be found here... although it was likely left off as most people picking this EP up will have already experienced Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. 28-Jan-2004 5:30 PM