Release Date: 07.16.02
Record label: Warner
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
by: bill aicher
The Flaming Lips have long been a critics' favorite, but it wasn't until 1999 that the band released what is now considered their greatest masterpiece upon the world. The Soft Bulletin made every rock critic's jaw drop in awe with it's lush orchestral melodies and beautifully crafted lyrical meanderings. They made us believe the world could be saved through love and song, and to this day it's still one of the greatest albums ever created.
When this is the case, it can difficult to follow-up an album of this stature - difficult to improve on what is basically an example of perfection. Still, The Flaming Lips have decided to proudly push forward continuing their traditional of psychedelic rock that they've been perfecting in the 10+ years since their inception.
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots finds these good ol' boys from Oklahoma venturing deeper into the electronics bin than ever before, thus imbuing the album with an overwhelming sense of futurism. The song are crafted in a much less complicated manner than those on The Soft Bulletin as well, but they still remain shockingly good.
"Fight Test" finds the band back at it's best from the opening with Wayne Coyne uttering such festive nuggets as "I don't know where the sunbeams end and the starlight begins, it's all a mystery." Meanwhile, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1" finds the band at it's most carefree - spouting about bouts between Yoshimi (of Japanese band, The Boredoms) and the evil robots who are bent upon world domination. It's some of the happiest damn music you'll ever hear; it's the kind of music to send a chill through your body while at the same time sending you into fits of uncontrollable joy.
The album continues in its electro-funk-rock gait throughout, all the while preaching the wonders of love and truth and how they just might be the what it will take to save the world. "Do You Realize??" and "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell" harken back to earlier more rock-infused Lips, and the album's only down moment is the misguided electro-instrumental track "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 2."
Truthfully, Yoshimi is not quite the masterpiece The Soft Bulletin was - but nowhere does it ever try to be. Instead it's exactly what the Flaming Lips are at this moment in time, and it's going to be the best album you'll hear all year. 16-Jul-2002 10:00 PM