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CD review: The Flaming Lips’ ‘The Terror’

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Smith Galtney

The Details

The Flaming Lips
The Terror
Three and a half stars

In light of The Flaming Lips’ recent associations with Ke$ha and Erykah Badu, didn’t you think the band’s new album might be just a little more accessibly twisted than 2009’s just-plain-twisted Embryonic? But here comes The Terror, which is mellower than its predecessor and twice as strange.

Music this weird dares to be described, but let’s take a crack at the bizarro 13-minute centerpiece called “You Lust,” in which Wayne Coyne sings “lust to succeed” again and again in a hushed, Golem-esque squeal. Verse-like lyrics and lovely background vocals surface here and there. Then the gaunt, steam-pulse groove gets wiped clean, making way for the spare notes of a Mellotron-sounding something-or-other and a sampled voice that says, “I began to understand it: myself.”

It all flows together and carries you along somehow. But it’ll take years of listening before the mysteries of The Terror completely unfold.

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