The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics Review
by Eric Bodrero
Taking a sort of radical turn from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Wayne Coyne and company kick up the flames a bit and produce something almost totally unexpected in At War with the Mystics, a more psychedelic but somehow grounded album that has them exploring even more eccentric but par for the course genre abnormalities as '70s psychedelic jam, space folk, and kind of a folksy, hand-clappy thingy that I just found out is really hard to explain.
Gone, for the most part, is song structure, but what remains are still undeniably The Flaming Lips, with the spontaneity and impulsiveness that they're known for. Certainly returning to their "Clouds Taste Metallic" roots (which they really never left), The Flaming Lips have produced an album which will turn off fans who like ear-candy and want it now, as opposed to those who don't mind sucking on the hard, sour, outer shell for awhile to get to the good stuff in the middle. Certain tracks are instantly palpable and listenable, such as "Mr. Ambulance Driver", "The W.A.N.D", and even "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song", but most others take a certain skill in patience and pondering before they reveal themselves fully to their listeners.
In Mystics, there are plenty of electronic blips and bleeps like the aforementioned Yoshimi, oodles of self-made loops and beats, but also a more traditional approach with percussion and guitar. Sometimes bands make albums that aren't appreciated for years, or until the band breaks up, or some members are killed or something peculiar. At War with the Mystics may be one of those albums. However, one must dedicate the whole fifty-five minutes it takes to listen to this album in one sitting, not broken up into bits in-between your errands to Target and Home Depot. Do this a couple times and your appreciation for this album will unquestionably start to cultivate.
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The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
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