Album: Flaming Lips, The Terror (Bella Union)
Saturday 30 March 2013
If the mainstream view of Flaming Lips is a hybrid of ELO, Neil Young and the Ronettes, fronted by a benign Gandalf figure who turns every show into a giant children's party for grown-ups, then The Terror will do more than any of their albums in recent years to destroy it.
The Terror will not get the Lips a repeat booking on Beverly Hills 90210. The Terror will never be heard on Heart FM. The Terror will not provide the first dance at anyone's wedding. Much of it is, frankly, completely terrifying.
The lushness familiar from The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is utterly absent, and the sound is an often alarming dark psychedelia which harks back to the freako acid rock of the Lips' pre‑breakthrough days.
Nevertheless, beautiful, blissful melodies are buried in there – as if the Lips are creating some sort of giant musical metaphor. The accompanying essay ends with the strangely optimistic words: "The Terror is, we know now, that even without love, life goes on... we just go on... there is no mercy killing."
There's something strangely heartening and optimistic hidden within those words and, too, in the heart of The Terror itself.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
Arts & Ents blogs
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Syd Barrett's inner visions
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Simon Cowell 'feels like an idiot' after Jules and Matisse scandal
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers