Flaming Lips fans rejoice! The psychedelic space-rockers return with a new album in a matter of days. And considering how long it's been since we were regaled with tales of pink alien robots, it's about time.
And one of the best songs on their forthcoming album is "W.A.N.D," which is paired here with two non-album tracks. While the final song lacks the musical tightness of the first two, the single definitely shows that the Lips haven't lost their (weird, quirky, acid-trippin') touch.
It opens with handclaps, a skipping record, and ends up with a loud, murky riff that slowly blossoms into "W.A.N.D." It's fairly catchy -- not dancey, but the sort of song that makes you want to sway and clap. And never ones for empty lyrics, Wayne Coyne sings about greed, corruption and "those fanatical minds try to rule all the world."
"They've got their weapons to solve all their questions, they don't know what it's for.../Why can't they see it's not power, just greed, to just want more and more?" You go, Wayne.
Then they switch to "You Got To Hold On," a mellow, sunny little song that reminds me of the middle of the "Yoshimi" album, though a bit more uptempo. And finally there's "Time Travel... Yes!" Honestly, I'm not even sure what to make of this -- it's an ambient tune with horns and choirs. And someone talking solemnly about past life regression, time travel, and so on.
Despite becoming more prominent than ever before, the Flaming Lips haven't lost their touch. The songs on here are as trippy, weird and lovably optimistic as ever. The main difference is that they're a bit catchier than they were before. In a good way.
The last song doesn't quite fit in, though; it's not bad, but it's not as trippy or enjoyable as the first two. Once it's over, you won't remember much of it. But even that is flavoured with their music -- the fusion of horns, blips, gritty guitar and great swirls of smooth music. And Wayne Coyne's voice is as endearing off-key as ever.
While the last song isn't as great as the first two, the "W.A.N.D" single promises some wonderful music in the forthcoming album. Rock on, Flaming Lips.