Given how uneven the song quality was (not to mention the poor audio fidelity) on The Flaming Lips’s last LP, At War with the Mystics, I can honestly say I wasn’t looking forward to their new record Embroynic.
And it’s not necessarily Pitchfork’s 9.0 review (out of 10) that has me excited, as much as it is this passage: “There’s a raw directness to Embryonic that’s been largely absent from Lips records since the mid-90s. For the first time in years, they’ve made an album that actually sounds like a band playing live together in a small room. In light of Mystics‘ overly processed, grab-bag quality, the holistic, audio-vérité approach on display here is remarkable– the record is extremely dense, initially overwhelming, but unusually rewarding upon repeat listens. Like the double-disc, high-concept rock epics of yore (think Physical Graffiti or Bitches Brew), it captures them at their most sprawling and ambitious, boldly pushing themselves towards more adventurous horizons.”