(Planet Me)
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Every band changes : The Flaming Lips of 2014 are a novelty band, constantly experimenting, trying new things, removing themselves from the world of the succinct, odd pop song that once they occupied so fluently : And with 9 proper albums in the past seven years, as well as countless side projects and albums-on-USB-sticks-buried-in-sweets fripperies, The Flaming Lips have become an unusual, and somewhat irrelevant set of freewheeling space cadets zooming all over the universe, releasing music in a very random, utterly unpredictable manner : anything they can think of, they can do. “7SkiesH3” is a condensed, and highly edited version of their 24-Hour-Song-Skull, which cost $5,000 dollars and they only made 13 copies. So the 53 or so minutes here that are presented in 10 movements represents approximately 4% of the musical content of those 24 hours. It's not a record of songs, as such – you can't hum or remember anything on here – but more a mood piece, where the material is just kind-of listened to and experienced without really remembering much of it, as it leaps from one piece to another to another, and songs amble along from start to end without memorable structure or form in organic jam-style performances that rise, fall, evolve, change, and become other songs : of particular note is the penultimate “Main Theme”, which resembles the best song Pink Floyd never released in 1970. In terms of its place within the Flaming Lips catalogue, it sounds like a hybrid of “Christmas On Mars” and “Embryonic”, all rolling soundscapes, big drums, heavenly chords and sweeping grandoise noise, and it sounds like the imaginary soundtrack to that ancient historical atrocity “Caligula”. Is it any good? Well, if you're looking for the Flips of 1999-2006, they've gone and aren't coming back : but if you want a record made of the type of noise they have been making recently, something challenging that rewards repeated listening, then oh my gawd! It's the Flaming Lips!

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