Monday, December 28, 2009

The Best Albums Of 2009 #6

The Flaming Lips-Embryonic

I was just about to give up on The Flaming Lips after 2006’s At War With The Mystics. Not that the album was terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It just seemed like a typically flat post-success album. Everyone does it. The Flaming Lips’ return to the mainstream in the early aughties was a joyous celebration of a band that’s been doggedly persistent for the last few decades. So a bit of a letdown was expected. Now that it’s all out of the way, The Flaming Lips have returned with Embryonic, a rather shocking nosedive into psychedelic rock that spans two discs. Embryonic is a dense album that rewards upon multiple listens. It’s hard to find the commercial elements here. Every so often, there’s a “Silver Trembling Hands,” or a “Convinced Of The Hex.” But for the most part, Embryonic is chock-full of stuff no radio station is going to touch. The best part? They save the most commercial track, “Watching The Planets,” for the very last song on the second disc. Sheer brilliance!

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