The Flaming Lips – “Embryonic”
WEA/ Reprise Records
-out now

The much-anticipated double-album from the nigh-underground indie outerspace rocker trio (whew!) is out. The Flaming Lips test the bounds with a dark, spacy concept album that seems to take its inspiration from the ending to Kubrik’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”; that is to say, don’t expect the tight, orchestral twinkle of “The Soft Bulletin,” or the brilliant playfulness of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Those crowds may be fairly disappointed, but those who will find themselves tickled are the early listeners to the Lips: these tracks play homage to their original outsider, discordant sound, and show the more fearless and exploratory side of the much-lauded band. The main drawback on this release is the lack of a real sonic anchor, singles, or much of anything that you’d want to hum to. On the other hand, the instrumental tracks are truly gorgeous (“Aquarius Sabotage” and “Gemini Syringes”), and the album is deserving of the multiple listens it needs. “Embryonic” plays far more to an experimental ear than the Lips’ previous material; an acquired, though not perfect taste, but still recommended.

Listen to “Silver Trembling Hands”:

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