Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Flaming Lips: The Terror

"The lyrics find cosmic repercussions in a lovers’ breakup; loneliness turns to contemplation of grim human compulsions and the end of the universe. 'However love can help you/We are all standing alone,' Mr. Coyne sings in the title song. The album’s prettiest melody carries 'Try to Explain,' which concludes, 'Try to explain why you’re leaving/I don’t think I understand.' It’s the kind of majestic pop chorale that has been a Flaming Lips staple, but this one is deliberately set amid emptiness: no drumbeat, just watery chords that waver slightly over a foundation of sustained distortion, keeping the song moody and unmoored. Throughout 'The Terror,' the band’s guitars have been all but supplanted by keyboards and synthesizers, often set to loop and drone, with eerie sounds welling up out of nowhere. The album includes just nine songs in 55 minutes, and about halfway through comes 'You Lust,' which marches along for 13 minutes on an unvarying four-note electric piano line. But that song, and the seven-minute 'Butterfly, How Long It Takes to Die,' grow incantatory, with inexorably surging drums in 'You Lust' and a slow-motion spatial barrage of notes and textures in 'Butterfly'" (Jon Pareles, "Albums from the Flaming Lips and Bobby Avey," New York Times, 4/15/13).

View catalog record here!


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