Triple Hype Tuesday – The Flaming Lips, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Thermals

 

The Flaming Lips – The Terror

 

To say “The Terror” is experimental is an understatement. At best, it’s a challenging listen that will grow on you. At worst, it’s 55 minutes of torture.

What happened to the Flaming Lips? Well, frontman Wayne Coyne has reached the point where he can do absolutely anything he wants and people will buy it.

“The Terror” is weird but not in a Flaming-Lips-of-yore way. Coyne is no stranger to avant-garde wackiness – see the Boombox Experiment and the four-disc “Zaireeka.” “The Terror” is downtrodden, monotonous and depressing, with little to no guitar.

The pretentious album sounds like a transmission from outer space. This is coming from a critic who has seen the Lips 8 times, beginning with a show in 1993 in which they opened – yes opened – for the Gin Blossoms.

However, you can give credit to the Flaming Lips for this: there is nothing like “The Terror” on the music scene now. Maybe it’s better on vinyl? Under the influence of weed?

1 spoon out of 5

 

 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito

 

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have evolved drastically since their loud and crazy first LP “Fever to Tell.” As the Brooklyn band enters its teenage years – the YYYs formed in 2000 – singer Karen O., guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase mostly move away from that supercharged rock sound, trading it for more subdued vocals and melodies.

“Mosquito” is notably different. Not as fun, but equally creative. Rather than scream her heart out like in the past, Karen O. sings softly, echoing the soothing styles of recent singers like Lykke Li and First Aid Kit’s Johanna and Klara Soderberg.

Lyrical motifs include religion and death. But it’s not all slow tempo. The band does rock out on songs like the title track and “Area 52,” throwing a bone to fans of the freakout rock version of the band.

3 spoons out of 5

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