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The Flaming Lips – The Terror album review

The Flaming Lips exist in a category by themselves. At this point in the history of left of center indie rock, if you have been paying even scant attention, you have encountered the gently crazy genius of Wayne Coyne and his merry band of psychedelic songsters. If not, then you must avail yourself of the opportunity presented to you by this review, and go and listen to them.

At this point in time, there’s nothing really new to say about this band, considering that they’ve been doing this for thirty years, with fifteen studio albums, a whole slew of e.p.’s, and a bunch of other media presentations under their belt. They started out as individuals, creating music that was sometimes folky, always rock and roll, and perpetually weird; and, thirty years later, ‘weird rock and roll’ is a tag that suits them still.

The Terror has all the classic hallmarks that demarcate this band’s unique identity. There are beautiful melodic arcs, artful textures, noisy ambient tones, great songwriting, and that compelling emotional poignancy that Wayne Coyne is so brilliant at evoking. On top of it all, is the falsetto, that haunting-yet-detached style of vocalizing that suit the needs of this band so perfectly.

Part of their genius manifests from a mastery of recording studio techniques wedded to an incredible feel for sonic textures. For reference, listen to ‘She is Death’, a track that dates back to 1986. This track is a reminder that this group started out as an amazing musical unit. The fact that they’ve managed to constantly grow and mature is testament to their genius.

By Paul Paradis

Paul is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Tacoma. When not engaged in the endless task of raising his six year old whirling dervish James Sparhawk, he spends his time creating music, pursuing a bachelor's, working out, and living. He is originally from the east coast: Worcester, Mass. born, and Providence, RI bred. Having traveled around some, the Pacific Northwest tends to feel more and more like home with each passing day, Very similar to New England in some ways, but different in a way that is refreshing. Rock on.

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