ALBUM REVIEW: The Flaming Lips – The Terror

The Terror artwork
The Terror artwork

ARTIST The Flaming Lips

ALBUM The Terror

LABEL Bella Union

RELEASE DATE 16.4.2013

6.6 | 10

The Flaming Lips have never been just a normal band. Whether they are releasing an album in four parts or with blood samples, each new release from this group a capital-E event. Their new album, The Terror, comes to us a year after their collaborative album featuring an eclectic group of artists from Erykah Badu to Chris Martin to Ke$ha to Bon Iver. This time out, the only feature is Phantogram on the perplexing 13-minute track “You Lust.” Elsewhere it’s all Wayne Coyne all the time.

You can’t fault this record for a lack of ambition. “Look… The Sun Is Rising,” is a fantastic opener, with its ragged, staccato guitars and Coyne’s vocals playing the role of morning fog rising into the atmosphere. The rising sun, the new day, is not one of joy for the Lips, rather another day to wallow in self-pity. “Be Free, A Way,” and “Try To Explain” are more uplifting, if only in practice, with the latter being the closest this record comes to “Do You Realize?”. The aforementioned “You Lust,” brings the album to a screeching halt however, being much more of a showcase of the weirdness of the band rather than furthering their musical palette.

From there on out, the music lacks any discernible direction as the tracks float on for what seems like hours. Whereas the group’s past highlights have all combined the distinct flavor of The Flaming Lips with some pop sensibilities, they strip this music of any hooks that may have once stood in place. This album plays like an autopsy, with the listener playing the role of coroner. The only difference is there is no cause of death, because there never seemed to be much life in this music anyway.

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