It Must Be Spring: Falling in love again with the Flaming Lips

edited March 2011 in Alternative
Listening to now...


"Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"

-Probably my favorite FL album (well, it's an EP). This is the album that made me appreciate "Do You Realize?" with it's odd remix of the song. Also, "Assassination of the Sun" is just too pretty, "A Change at Christmas" so heartbreakingly hopeul, and the poppy grooves of the other tracks. Every year I fall in love with this album and it always indicates the start of Spring.


"Fight Test"

-Another EP. Covers of Radiohead's "Knives Out" and Beck's "The Golden Age", alone, make this EP worth owning. "Fight Test" is a neat tune. Only the last track, "Jack White", is kind of a throw-away tune.


"The Soft Bulletin"

-The album that got me into FL. I'd had friends, for years, trying to get me to like FL, but I mostly couldn't stand them. Then one day, I saw a video for "Turn It On" (from Transmissions), and just the catchiness of the song and the edge it had and them all dressed up in suits of christmas lights, it all started to click. Shortly after Soft Bulletin was released, and that clinched it. A brilliant album.

That's what I've been listening to the last couple days. I have others on my shelf that I'll have to search down.


  • edited March 2011
    i only got into the flaming lips recently. until maybe last year, i thought of them as the "she don't use jelly" novelty band. then -- when i finally gave them a chance -- i was blown-away by yoshimi. i love that album, embryonic and the ep where they cover kylie minogue so much that i haven't been able to make it to the rest of their discography. but yeah, they're a spring/summer band (like the hold steady, new pornographers, and others), so it's about time to add them to my ipod again.
  • For a while there, from about 2000 to 2005 or so, a whole bunch of bands were hiring Dave Fridmann as their producer based mostly on their having heard The Soft Bulletin. A few of the records that resulted are still huge favorites of mine - The Delgados' Hate and The Great Eastern especially. "The Light Before We Land" (from Hate) is as good as anything on The Soft Bulletin, probably better.

    But about 3-4 years ago MGMT had a hit with Oracular Spectacular, and other bands started copying that sound... I believe the Flaming Lips themselves had already gotten tired of it themselves. And the copycats didn't really get it right, either - the whole point was to overdrive the snare drum, but not always, to mix heavily-reverbed bits with dry bits but not throughout the entire track, and so on.

    The thing is, I liked that sound. To me, The Soft Bulletin was like a high-water mark, one of my favorite albums of the 90's and maybe ever. They sort of came close with Yoshimi and War With the Mystics, but since then they just haven't had that sound, and I miss it.
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