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Flaming Lips, The

Entry updated 8 March 2014. Tagged: Music.

US indie-rock band, formed in 1983 by Wayne Coyne (1961-    ), although the group did not release a major-label record until Hit to Death in the Future Head (album 1993), a deliberately weird and obliquely satirical suite of future-oriented songs. The first track and single "Talkin' 'Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever)" has less to do with Immortality than its title suggests. International commercial success greeted the band's tenth-album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002). The title of this eclectic and inventive work straightforwardly describes its Anime-influenced storyline, and the music touches chords of genuine innocence and exuberance. The whole, however, is far from simple-minded: one of the things it manages to do is deconstruct the conventions of the "concept album", wrongfooting listeners narratively as well as musically. After a creatively hectic path through, the album ends on a splendidly final note with the rock-instrumental "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)". [AR]


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