Artist – Album: The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Released: 16th July 2002
Sounds Like: Childlike wonder, sagelike wisdom
Alright, so it is a travesty that I’ve not plumped for Neil Young’s On the Beach for today’s album. Just who do I think I am? I despair at me. But I was on such a good roll with albums from 2002 – yesterday’s Idlewild album and the Vines’ from the day before were also released that year – that I found it impossible to resist. Also, whilst On the Beach is (probably) superior to Yoshimi..., it is really, really depressing; an accusation you can’t level at this little curiosity.
The Flaming Lips had struck upon gold with their previous album, the timeless The Soft Bulletin, and quite sensibly they chose not to alter the formula too much with this one. They continued to combine childlike wonder (the toy fight of near title track duo ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots parts 1 & 2’) with sagelike wisdom (‘Do You Realize??’), and continued to produce songs that were experimental and original but remained within the confines of accessible indie rock. Songs such as ‘Flight Test’ and ‘Yoshimi... Pt. 1’ have a more instant impact than anything on the preceding masterpiece, whilst ‘In the Morning of the Magicians’, with its twitching hi-hat and waves of applause and laughter, is beautiful captivating.
Following the crazy concept of the amazing Zaireeka (an album that came with four discs, to be played simulateously), The Flaming Lips hit up on a rich seam of form that has yet to run out. Yoshimi... is one of their best, and makes the inevitable comparisons to the similarly psychedelic Pink Floyd wholly warranted.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Fight Test – 4:14
2. One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21 – 4:59
3. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1 – 4:45
4. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2 – 2:57
5. In the Morning of the Magicians – 6:18
6. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell – 4:34
7. Are You a Hypnotist?? – 4:44
8. It’s Summertime – 4:20
9. Do You Realize?? – 3:33
10. All We Have Is Now – 3:53
11. Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia) – 3:09
Listen to ‘In the Morning of the Magicians ‘: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWui3la2VZM
Also released on the 16th July:
1974: Neil Young – On the Beach