The Flaming Lips: At War With The Mystics

Space is the place for Lips album Number 12

Flaming Lips
When you consider the fact that The Flaming Lips have been together since 1983, it’s remarkable how they consistently manage to outdo themselves. Just when you think the live shows can’t get any more flamboyant, Wayne Coyne walks over the heads of the crowd in a huge plastic bubble. Just when you think that they’ll achieve proper mainstream credibility, they sanction a documentary that features footage of band member Steven Drozd intravenously injecting heroin. And just when you think that their records can’t get any more epic... well, they release an album influenced equally by The Neptunes, the compser Wagner and the Pink Floyd songbook.

They’re more than just musical visionaries, though. In line with its title, ‘At War With The Mystics’ is an oddly confrontational record: from the humanist odd-pop of the ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’ to ‘Free Radicals’’s disco-powered swipes at freeze-dried pop pap, it’s astonishing how the band are unafraid to take on Serious Issues yet remain so much fun. Don’t be surprised if they find a cure for cancer, end world poverty or find a solution to the Iraq war next – they’ll certainly struggle to top this.

Pat Long
8 / 10

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