The Flaming Lips

Clouds Taste Metallic

The Flaming Lips have always known how to musically explode into a surge of guitar distortion mania, yet they continue to evolve successfully from album to album because they can also skillfully harness their sound into moments of youthful, simplistic musings. On Clouds Taste Metallic, the Lips embrace an outer space motif. The feeling is almost as though vocalist Wayne Coyne and the rest of the band are fed up with the atrocities and idiocies of our own planet and wish to escape to a new world where not even the environment is recognizable. At the same time, there is a thematic nostalgia to the album -- the very first sound you hear is an old movie projector, which is then joined by single piano notes and the pretension-lacking whine of Wayne, singing of "The Abandoned Hospital Ship". This and other songs evoke the same sentiments found in late 60s rock, such as the slower songs from Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, or Country Joe and the Fish stylings on the track "Brainville", and even a Beatles-esque piano intro on "Placebotles-esque piano intro on "Placebo Headwound". Of course, the Flaming Lips are still very 90s and will give way to plenty of rip-rocking rampancy. And the Lips are quite informal in the packaging of their music, as well. Stray threads of sound hang from the beginnings and endings of individual songs, as though they have not yet been trimmed off of the essential piece.

In some ways, the Flaming Lips risk seeming silly as the backing vocals coo "ooh-ooh..." at various moments -- not to mention song titles that could nearly as easily be used by Weird Al Yankovic! However, they pull it all together with humble pie class and appeal to the candid child in all of us, to the child who knows that on bad days you can just sleep late, and in your dreams, have it your way.

Overall, Clouds Taste Metallic is a pleasant escape from earth that fits best with a breezy summer day. And for true Lips fans, check out the limited edition SQUIDgy pack "Bad Days" EP with 3 songs not included on the album.

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