Saturday, March 13, 2010

Looking Back: The Flaming Lips

"Flaming Lips, formed as an alt.punk band 20 years ago and with only one major single to their name - the gimmick hit She Don't Use Jelly in 94 which Beavis and Butthead broke for them - are currently the coolest band on the planet. They are a fun-loving neo-psychedelic rock band with a mainline to existential beauty wrapped in delicate pop, and an ear to experimentation. - Graham Reid of the New Zealand Herald, writing in this piece, published January 10, 2004.

Reid offered these thoughts on the band six years ago. Was he right then, and if so, is he still? The answers to both questions is probably no. The Flaming Lips are a fun and wonderful band, but it cannot be said that they have changed music in the way that so many other bands have done. Lead singer Wayne Coyne is not the best vocalist, and these days, the band garners more press for its onstage antics than its music (which, for many, may even be beside the point). The band's latest album, Embryonic (the cover of which is pictured above), earned some accolades, but in the grand scheme of things, came and went like so many other albums before it. So why, then, in 2004, was Mr. Reid so fierce a partisan of the band? Sure, we liked "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" as much as the next nostalgic music blog, but not so much to call them the "coolest band on the planet."


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