April 20, 2005

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The Flaming Lips, At War With The Mystics
Warner Bros., 2006

Bush bashing, questioning identity and scolding pop culture? All shooting fish in a barrel for the Flaming Lips! So why write a record about it?

Just by listening to Yoshimi Versus The Pink Robots and The Soft Bulletin, a tin-eared Creed fan could tell the Lips are beyond this sort of social/political discourse. But despite my usual loathing for political commentary in my musical selections (unless you’re Rage Against The Machine) At War With The Mystics still has a thrilling aspect to it that can’t be denied.

The spacey, B-movie guitars are back and bigger than anything Pink Floyd could have ever hoped to achieve. Not even if they prayed to their psychedelic gods, who would promptly deny them such awesomeness for writing music post 1979. Taking a Franz Ferdinand-esque que, At War With Mystics teeters on the brink of experimental at points by jamming in another half song on a few tracks. Needless to say, titles like “Sound of Failure/It’s Dark...Is it Always This Dark??” and “It Overtakes Me/Stars Are So Big...I Am So Small...Do I 8. Stand A Chance?” will wreak havoc on your iPod tagging system.

While this record still remains decent, the Lips’ bombast has damned it from being as timeless as its predecessors. C+

— Daniel Brian


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