Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Published in 2002

First off, thanks to Patrick Doomsday for this suggestion, I knew that you would come up with a good one.

Let's talk about Space.

Not the concept of the space within music, where rests can mean just as much as notes, nor the concept of space in the real world, where the spaces between things have important implications. No, the space that I am talking about is maybe the most important space to me at the moment.

It's 8 GB big, and it's the space on my iPod.

This is one of those unchangeable boundary conditions for me, one of those things that determines what music I can bring with me. A limit. A line in the sand that you do not...

As some of you may have realized about me, I like to have complete albums on my iPod. This makes things very difficult. I have a very limited space in which to put music that I can carry with me. Some things on there are for the gym, for the ride to Annapolis, some for parties, some for just hanging out and chilling. (An interesting anecdote about this same space that I am talking about, my mom and I were discussing The Project, and she said that this was how people used to listen to music at parties. They were limited in space to one album, or a couple of them.)

Doomsday has in the past introduced me to a band that has been in competition for space on my iPod. I'm thinking mainly of Theviery Corperation. So, I do know that the man has some taste.

This is the record that I always hear Flaming Lips fans tell me that I have to listen to, and I can see why. It's a great album. It's obviously a continuous story, and it really conveys a defined 'other place'. I found myself just nodding along to the beat, just enjoying it. It's an upbeat album in a musical respect, but the lyrics are an interesting contrast to that upbeat sound.

This album is electronic. It sounds electronic. It makes you know that what you are listening to is an experiment in sound just as much as it is music. This is one of the things that I like about it. I'd compare it with great sound experiments like Kid A by Radiohead (which is on the list of my first picks for an album to do) or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, which if I do say so myself is not too fucking shabby.

I realized while I was listening to it, that two of the songs I had heard in the background of my life before. The titualar track is a great fucking song. It's poppy in just the right ways, and the lyrics just fucking pull you in. It's really a fun song, and totally deserving of the praise that is given to it. I've also heard Do You Realize?? a couple of times out of context at parties, but I will say, it works so much better inside the soundscape of the album.

One thing that I will say against the album is that you need to be in a mood to listen to it. This is one of those albums that would be grating to me if I were in the wrong state of mind. This is not an album that you can work off your rage with, but one to which you can commute. I'm not telling you not to try it out if you aren't a fan of this kind of music, but I am telling you to pick the time that you listen to it for the first time wisely.

So, back to the beginning. I'm not sure if this album is going to replace one on my iPod. I actually think that it is a great travelling album, something that would be awesome on a road trip, late at night, when everyone else is sleeping. It's pump you up music at it's best. I'm very much on the fence about whether I would choose it over some of the other stuff that I have, but I can see it's merits in some cases.

Anyway, if you've never heard a Flaming Lips album, I'd suggest you pick this one up, and give it a shot. It'll at least sound different than a lot of stuff you've ever heard.

Thanks again Doomsday, and up next Icky Thump by the White Stripes.
I said good day, sir.


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