After the release of "Hear It Is" (preceded by their eponymous debut EP), the Flaming Lips spent a while on the road, honing their chops and composing and tightening up the material that would comprise their follow-up. As such, "Oh My Gawd!" thoroughly delivers on the promises made on the first two records - and then some. The songs are more cohesive, the playing is tighter, and the direction, if you can call it that, is considerably more focused. Right off the bat, "Everything's Explodin'" sets the tone for the record with lyrics like, "Boy, you're so loud that you could wake the dead, and some of the living, they're waking, too." Tongue in cheek, perhaps, but accurate; almost everything here expands on the themes on "Hear," from the Pink Floyd-isms of "One Million Billionth of a Millisecond On A Sunday Morning" to the piano-smashing (literally) and Beatles tape-loop of "Love Yer Brain." That, and everything in between, shows a band interested in growing and building on their previous work. "Oh My Gawd!" isn't the ultimate achievement for the Flaming Lips, but it is the next evolutionary step for a rock group already obviously unique in a sea of sameness. The Lips make music for the Lips first, but are happy when anyone else gets the joke; as they put it in "Explodin,'" "If you don't like it, write your own song."