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Classic Album Review: The Flaming Lips | Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Every time Oklahoma’s neo-psychedelic pop freaks The Flaming Lips put out an album, I think it can’t possibly be any weirder than their last one. And every time, I’m wrong — including this time.

Their 11th album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots — the title alone should be enough of a tipoff — is yet another bizarre, intriguing and sublimely wonderous journey to the edge of the universe and the centre of your mind. Partly inspired by the death of a Japanese fan, Yoshimi is part song cycle, part sound story, and part concept album about life, love, humanity, death, funerals, sunshine and, er, robots that fight humans in gladiator combat. (Hey, at least you can’t say you’ve heard that one before.)

Hippie-dippie embraces artsy-fartsy once again as the Lips dish up a series of strummy, lysergic guitar-pop ballads (It’s Summertime, Fight Test) and lush, expansive dreamscapes (In the Morning of the Magicians, All We Have is Now), while other tracks (One More Robot, Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell) see the group expanding their horizons with trip-hop beatboxes and chillout room vibes.

Only time will tell if Yoshimi becomes as beloed as the group’s 1999’s orch-pop masterpiece The Soft Bulletin. But there’s no denying that it’s another boldly original work from one of music’s most artistically ambitious bands. And hey, their next album can’t possibly be any weirder than this, right?