The Flaming Lips – The Terror

Album Review by Paul Mitchell | 29 Mar 2013
Album title: The Terror
Artist: The Flaming Lips
Label: Bella Union
Release date: 15 Apr

Billed as The Lips 'bleak, disturbing' record (with suitably ominous title to match), the reality is that this, their thirteenth studio album, whilst completely lacking in any of the singalong confection (à la Yoshimi or Do You Realise) which have engrained them in the public consciousness, is much more ambient and restless than downright moody  though it is difficult to see where they'll be getting the zorbs and giant balloons out when it comes to their legendary live shows.

The Terror represents a tighter focusing of the atmospheric psychedelia of 2009's Embryonic (and, to an extent, their multi-collaborative Heady Fwends compilation from last year). Wayne Coyne's voice, effect-laden and in high-register throughout, provides a familiar, soothing backdrop to the crescendo-building, buzzsaw guitar and syncopated beats of Look...The Sun is Rising and Always There In Our Hearts, which bookend the record.

In between, the comparative energy of these tracks give way to those that join the dots, like You Lust and The Terror, which ebb and flow around sparse melodies and ethereal effects to disorienting effect. Yet, the whole is an album of august eminence; an impressive addition to an illustrious canon.