The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Bros.)
Reviewed by Michael Bertin, Fri., July 25, 2008
The Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Bros.)
About the time of choreographed 4-CD oddity Zaireeka, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne probably went a bit mad. How else to unpack his revelation that far more people would respond to rock music populated by wizards, robots, and nuclear scientists than to the psychedelic post-punk he and his fellow Oklahomans had been propagating since the mid-1980s? The Yoshimi story, neatly summarized in the 2002 album's title, dissipates after the first four songs, but in that quartet, Capt. Coyne swipes at cynicism and irony via his vitamin-popping heroine. As existential allegory, it's not Sartre, but then Sartre didn't write pop songs. And Coyne, with a massive musical assist from Steven Drozd, can take a trivially true (and not particularly cheery) lyric – like "Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?" – drop it into a lush Lips creation, and turn it into something strangely joyous.
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