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Flaming Lips | King’s Mouth: Music and Songs

Wayne Coyne does it for the kids with his latest odd multi-media project.

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Wayne Coyne is coming for your children. But there’s no need to panic; the Flaming Lips’ freaky frontman only wants to tell them a story. Yep, that’s right: The Oklahoma oddballs’ 15th studio album — issued on limited-edition vinyl for Record Store Day but destined for wider release this summer — is part of a multi-media project for the young (and presumably old hippies who are still young at heart). The story, near as I understand it, concerns a giant king who sucks the entirety of the cosmos into his massive noggin while trying to save his city — only to end up being dipped in steel and used as a massive structure where visitors who climb in through his mouth can gaze up at the stars in his cranium. Hey, it’s no freakier than anything else Coyne has come up with. And apparently he has taken it seriously enough to turn the tale into an illustrated kids’ book, a travelling art installation, typically weird merch and, of course, this album. Although rumoured to be more or less a Coyne solo project, these dozen songs are still fashioned from the band’s usual blend of blissful melodies, trippy sonics and spacious arrangements. On the flip side, it also includes regal elements, darker tunes and noisier tones — along with narration from The Clash’s Mick Jones to help tie everything together and keep the story moving. Do they all live happily ever after? You’ll have to climb inside to find out.