At War with the Mysticsby The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips have crafted some of rock's most seamless albums, discs unified sonically and conceptually. Given major-domo Wayne Coyne's fondness for zigging when he's expected to zag, it's not all that surprising that the years-in-the-making At War with the Mystics all but entirely dispenses with that blueprint, instead delivering a multi-directional blast of tunes spanning the Lips' entire comfort zone. Folks drawn to the dreamscapes of The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots will relish easing into the pillowy "My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion," on which multiple Coynes, backed by multiple synthesizers, urge rejection of the outside world's negativity. He ups the ante in terms of sheer flamboyance on the tympani-laced mini-symphony "Pompeii am Götterdämmerung," which reconciles prog-rock values with a Sesame Street worldview. The Lips depart from that sunny-day outlook more often here than they have in ages, however, dealing with real-world issues for the first time in ages -- something that's most palpable on the fuzzed-out psych-rock nugget "W.A.N.D. (Will Always Negates Defeat)." That song's call to arms is matched by the aggression of the partly a cappella, fully weirded-out "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song," on which Coyne challenges his audience to prove they wouldn't sell their souls given the right offer. And while such temptations have doubtlessly crossed the Lips' path in recent times, At War with the Mystics is filled with evidence that they're still too smart to take the bait.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsFlaming Lips Primary Artist
Greg Kurstin Background Vocals
Michael Ivins Group Member
Wayne Coyne Group Member
Steven Drozd Group Member
Kliph Scurlock Drums
Technical CreditsFlaming Lips Composer
Dave Fridmann Programming,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer
Greg Kurstin Lyricist,Producer,Instrumentation
Scott Booker Producer
Michael Ivins Engineer
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This album has received some harsh criticism - especially from fans of the Flaming Lip's previous album, primarily because it isn't as instantly accessible, nor does it have a "concept" to keep it all glued together. Neither of these are issues, unless you just want Yoshimi Pt. 2. Otherwise, this is an excellent album from start to finish, and it's clear that these guys are constantly evolving as a band. This album isn't 'difficult', and many of the songs are simply breathtaking. A must listen.
This is the best acid psychedelic techno jazz progressive rock i've heard in years. Lyrically, it's as big a mystery as any other Flaming Lips release, though most tracks are not ashamed to hide their political rants. Musically, it's catchy, flows well, and it's very listenable. Kudos! Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, and Michael Ivins have done it again. If you liked other Flaming Lips albums, then true to their reputation you will find absolutely nothing familiar here.
This is the type of music that throws you back to a time where musician like Jimi Hendrix were experimenting in the rock/blues/psychedilia relm, and the Allan Parson Project was big. The Flaming Lips ressurect a musical form that is so cool. Very lucid album
Shimmering red superpop whimsical and strange, powerful and unusual. Taken as individual tracks, some of the songs can fall a little flat, most notably "Ambulance Driver." As an album, though, it's a joy not quite on the level of The Soft Bulletin, but yet another step forward and slightly to the left by a band that continues to evolve and evolve and evolve.