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
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
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.