'American Head' marks a new chapter for the legendary Flaming Lips. It is their masterpiece for a new decade and presents euphoric nostalgia through honesty and elegance rarely seen.
For a band sixteen studio albums and thirty-seven years in, The Flaming Lips have never stopped challenging themselves. Across their initial output of raw psychedelic rock ('In A Priest Driven Ambulance') or their classic commercial releases ('The Soft Bulletin' and 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots'), the band have continuously evolved across their near 40-year lifespan. This is before their later covers of the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and their collaborative effort with Miley Cyrus. Even with touring halted for this album cycle, the band are trialling their innovative 'bubble concerts' which is gaining viral attention for the sheer brilliance and absurdity of it.
Now there is 'American Head', a reexamination of the everything the band has become. It's melancholia laced Americana theme calls Lana Del Rey to mind, yet with a gentler approach to their trademark sounds. The visceral memories of family, drugs and loss are all beautifully articulated through Wayne Coyne's compelling, soft lyricism. The album sees an ageing band refuse to play to their tropes, and instead reflect on their past. The realities of loss, drugs and nostalgia are as refreshing for the band as they are for the genre. The signature fantastical glamour of previous trademark releases is replaced with dysphoric, yet heartfelt reflections of an American that have come to pass.
The immaculate production births a consistent atmosphere throughout the entire thirteen tracks with the themes of foggy memories reflected by dreamy, gentle instrumentation. Highlights include 'Flowers of Neptune 6', 'You n Me Sellin' Weed' and 'God and the Policeman', featuring newfound country star Kacey Musgraves.
A lot of bands can pull the 'longing for the old America' card, but none have lived throughout it and have come to articulate and express it as well as the Flaming Lips have here. 'American Head' is a complete curveball from the Flaming Lips, and a welcome one at that.
'American Head' will be in stock soon. Until then, The Flaming Lips discography is available now.
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