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Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

4.7 20
by The Flaming Lips

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Brian Wilson once said he was trying to create "teenage symphonies to God" with the Beach Boys -- a baton that the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne seems to have picked up (and carried into adult territory) a few years back. Following in the footsteps of 1999's The Soft Bulletin, this strikingly nuanced disc -- which takes its name


Brian Wilson once said he was trying to create "teenage symphonies to God" with the Beach Boys -- a baton that the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne seems to have picked up (and carried into adult territory) a few years back. Following in the footsteps of 1999's The Soft Bulletin, this strikingly nuanced disc -- which takes its name from contributor Yoshimi P-we of the Boredoms and OOIOO -- takes the band deeper into outer space and, simultaneously, further into the inner spaces of Coyne's psyche. While Yoshimi has its share of oscillating pop beauty -- the fragile opener, "Fight Test," is one of the more gorgeous bits of gossamer to drift off terra firma in quite a spell -- the disc balances the sweetness with a goodly amount of darkness. That end of the spectrum is occupied by slowly unfolding space-rock epics like "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell." There are even fewer guitar freak-outs here than on Bulletin, which may cause furrowed brows among longtime Lips lovers, but that doesn't mean there's abundant empty space: Coyne fills the nooks and crannies with skittering electronics (on the two-part title track) and bizarre-world rhythms ("One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21"). Despite all the references to machinery and technology, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots remains, at its core, the most human of albums -- one concerned almost exclusively with love, loss, and -- on the mournful "Do You Realize?," which raises the notion that "one day everyone you know will die" -- the places where those things intersect.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
After the symphonic majesty of The Soft Bulletin, the Flaming Lips return with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, a sublime fusion of Bulletin's newfound emotional directness, the old-school playfulness of Transmissions From the Satellite Heart, and, more importantly, exciting new expressions of the group's sentimental, experimental sound. While the album isn't as immediately impressive as the equally brilliant and unfocused Soft Bulletin, it's more consistent, using a palette of rounded, surprisingly emotive basslines; squelchy analog synths; and manicured acoustic guitars to craft songs like "One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21," a sleekly melancholy tale of robots developing emotions, and "In the Morning of the Magicians," an aptly named electronic art rock epic that sounds like a collaboration between the Moody Blues and Wendy Carlos. Paradoxically, the Lips use simpler arrangements to create more diverse sounds on Yoshimi, spanning the lush, psychedelic reveries of "It's Summertime"; the instrumental "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon"; the dubby "Are You a Hypnotist?"; and the barely organized chaos of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2," which defeats the evil metal ones with ferocious drums, buzzing synths, and the razor sharp howl of the Boredoms' Yoshimi. Few bands can craft life-affirming songs about potentially depressing subjects (the passage of time, fighting for what you care about, good vs. evil) as the Flaming Lips, and on Yoshimi, they're at the top of their game. "Do You Realize??" is the standout, so immediately gorgeous that it's obvious that it's the single. It's also the most obviously influenced by The Soft Bulletin, but it's even catchier and sadder, sweetening such unavoidable truths like "Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?" with chimes, clouds of strings, and angelic backing vocals. Yoshimi features some of the sharpest emotional peaks and valleys of any Lips album -- the superficially playful "Fight Test" is surprisingly bittersweet, while sad songs like "All We Have Is Now" and "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell" are leavened by witty lyrics and production tricks. Funny, beautiful, and moving, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots finds the Flaming Lips continuing to grow and challenge themselves in not-so-obvious ways after delivering their obvious masterpiece.
Rolling Stone - Greg Kot
The Lips sound absolutely ecstatic to be living in the moment.
Yoshimi could be the negative image of Radiohead's Kid A: the sound of a rock band using electronica to make music that's inclusive and warm instead of icy and aloof.

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Warner Bros / Wea


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Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'd never really listened to the Flaming Lips until my friend made me listen to the first two tracks, and from then on I was hooked. It's cool and mellow, and I think everyone needs a little Lip action.
Sess-Jooner More than 1 year ago
This is probably one of my favorite albums by The Flaming Lips. For some reason, none of the other songs from other albums appeal to me at all. This is a great album, people of every age have the ability to respect it.
Kimmiee More than 1 year ago
If music is nothing more than an appreciation for sound, then this album demonstrates that wonderfully.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album made me fall in love with this awesome band! It's mellow and calm and puts you in a good, enjoyable mood. I reccomend this to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There really aren't enough good adjectives in the world to describe The Flaming Lips. They are more than just music. They are an experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
think: beach boys on acid..... this will give you a good idea of what the flaming lips sound like. this band is amazing. this cd is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. this is the kind of cd that will gradually pull you in, so make sure you listen several times, b/c the ride will be WELL worth it..... As much as I loved their last release, I am enjoying this more. a MUST buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite album over the last year. "Do You Realize" still chokes me up every time. I feel guilty listening to it if I can't dedicate myself to listening to the entire album. My dad accidentally put the cd in, and ended up listening to the whole thing. Definitely a must have album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you ever broke up with someone, or fell in love with someone, or lost a friend/foe/lover/pet fish, this album will speak to you everywhere. Take the most annoying voice in music today, add the second fastest/most innovative drummer, acoustic guitars, bass, distortion, computers, and obscure heart-felt poetry, and you've got a winner. If you've got a player to do it, get the bonus DVD package instead. The visual artistry adds another dimension to the album experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
... haven't bought this yet, looking quite forward to it though. i am a new lips fan, sad to say drawn in by a rolling stone review ... soft bulletin did not dissapoint, i am sure this won't either ! Take Jon Anderson, Neil Young, the beach boys & the beatles (post 65), write & produce it in the last 10 years ... that's what the lips sound like to ME ....
Guest More than 1 year ago
there are two different reactions to this album: one for lips fans and one for those who aren't familiar with their ouevre. for the fanatics, this is certainly new territory, especially the huge reliance on electronic sounds. but, like the buggles' age of plastic, yoshimi is an album about a future dystopia and the intersection between man and machine that centers on the human aspects. this is most evident in human sympathy, do you realize, fight test, etc. for newcomers, while not completely representative of the lips' past, coyne's warble and beautifully naive philosophical ruminations are, as always, a wonder. just as with the soft bulletin, the lips have produced an amazing beautiful and wonderful (full of wonders) album that also goes where really no band has gone before.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This quite simply the best album I have ever heard. It works on so many levels and everyone can get into it. I have a friend who had never heard of the Lips before I made her listen to this album. It's her favorite album now. This album gave me hope for humanity again. Buy this everyone. It also proves that people from Oklahoma are the coolest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The newest release from the Lips picks up where the guys left off with The Soft Bulletin, very likely the best rock album of the last decade...Big sounds, strange sounds, funny sounds. Dave Fridmann is the hottest producer in the business right now and Yoshimi may well be his crowning achievement. Synthetic waa waas, ticks and whirrs replace the lush string and horn orchestrations of Bulletin to great effect. Lead singer Wayne Coyne's voice is an acquired taste, kinda like Neil Young on Ecstasy, but here he soars above the soundscape in full beautiful tones. What he sings is likely to inspire and perhaps horrify you. These guys dig the truth after all and the truth aint what it used to be. The album tweaks existential fantasia to new heights. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots may just be the last album you ever buy. Enjoy it.
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