FLAMING LIPS “YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS”

7 December 2008

“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” is one of those albums. It is filled with weird noises from synth and guitar, yet it works. Yes it is different, and yes it is original — and what is wrong with that?

OK, it’s not the greatest album ever made.  There’s no display of superb musicianship or vocals.  It’s not the best production either — in fact it feels very home-made and cheap; low production values. It is not avant garde Jazz or techno, and it is as near to rock as, say, the Kaisers or Oasis. It has pop leanings, but from a definite lo-fi, melancholy source.  The market is not little girls, but it’s still ultimately  girls I think.  Art-house types certainly.  A good soundtrack to a French or German movie.

Yet I quite like the album. It has something going for it. Something rough and unpolished, like Neil Young used to be. Take, “In the Morning of the Magicians”, for instance. From the opening bass line, to when the plaintive vocals begin, there is something incredibly familiar.  It sounds like so many other things all at once, yet none of them.

“It’s Summertime” starts like an old Bowie track, or perhaps Donovan.  It’s lo-fi, unplugged, then the drum-machine comes in like it was the Magnetic Fields or something. There’s a nice minor shift.  Then a Beatles-type arpeggio. It’s floaty again. But then the whole album is.

It’s like some weird trip. “Are You a Hypnotist?” is another one with vigorous drumming, yet it manages to be chilled and “floaty” again! — this is the trademarksof the “Lips”.

“One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21” is catchy — continuing the soft drum’n’bass with a drifty, chill Enya-esque surf over! Honest!

You won’t believe this but “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell” has an almost Christmas feel to it — and some of the weirdest guitar noises too.

The funny thing about the “Lips” is that this music quickly becomes a soundtrack in your head.  It’s definitely background music or music to read by — fab for studying; it enters the subconscious and becomes part of you.

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2 Responses to “FLAMING LIPS “YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS””

  1. Yvonne Says:

    But you have not mentioned the concept! This is a masterpiece!

  2. davedevine Says:

    I don’t think pop/ rock music should be taken THAT seriously. Ever. I once read Genesis and Yes lyrics and tried to make sense of them. Not Good. Then I tried to understand what Jagger was singing about. Couldn’t get all the words down. I once saw a TV show where Bowie wrote songs, cut the words out with scissors, jumbled them up and made lyrics up that way. Hmm. Crazy! Concepts? Pah! Protest/ Politics? Hah! a message? No, I say NO! Be Bop A Lo La! Tutti Fruity on Rooty a wop bop a do wop a bing bang boom! Do Do Do Da Da Da is all I ever say to you!


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