CD Review – The Flaming Lips’ “Embryonic” November 3, 2009

All twelve of the Flamings Lips’ albums are worth throwing into a CD player (or three) and Embryonic continues this long tradition. Wayne Coyne and Co. have made a career out of thrusting the word “safari” into your brain while you listen to their music and are rightly known for augmenting their neon aesthetic with a stage show to match. The aural backflips and occasional electronic dissonances that have characterized much of their late career come to a sharp point on their latest LP.

While never recapturing the flagrant abuse of standards they displayed during their Zaireeka days, the Fearless Freaks have nonetheless attempted to recapture that spirit, with Embryonic making their output since 1999 look almost accessible. With songs running the gamut from intensely listenable to merely damned interesting, Embryonic exhibits their unique flair for turning the improbable into the improbably great. Karen O. making animal noises over speakerphone mid-way through the album doesn’t even sound out of place.

Embryonic is the Flaming Lips high on maturity. It is the logical, measured progression of themes they have experimented with for years and is more than worth the time and effort it demands.