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Embryonic (Deluxe Version)

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iTunes Review

The Flaming Lips like challenges. They like to take noises and found sound, electronically manipulated instrumentation and sonically altered vocals, and find the song after the damage is done. Their film Christmas On Mars included some of the band’s most atmospheric and formless songwriting and it’s from this starting point that Embryonic begins its creation. The album’s title was chosen since Lips leader Wayne Coyne wished to keep the songs and sounds in their earliest stages before too much thinking and development would alter their initial inspirations. The sounds are occasionally abrasive and ugly (“Convinced of the Hex”). Tunes vary in scope, with the deep ‘70s funk of “See the Leaves,” or pop melodies altered for great effect (“Evil”) with flashes of hazy innocence (“If”). Five tunes are abbreviated pieces named from Zodiac signs (“Aquarius Sabotage,” “Gemini Syringes”). “Your Bats,” “Powerless,” “Silver Trembling Hands” near conventional songwriting, but are sonically altered to the point of near obliteration. “Watching the Planets” ends things with a final crunch. And a cosmic concept hides under the tough, spacey pieces of instrumental wreckage.

Customer Reviews

Leaders of the Loudness-War Charge

The Flips are not vitctims of the loudness war - they are leading the charge. Load up these tracks in a wave analyzer and see for yourself. Brickwalled to death. The mastering process has stripped the songs of any nuance, causing ear fatigue at even low volumes. I'd wager a bet that even Metallica's last album has more dynamic range than this. It's too bad, because the production and mastering render the album almost unlistenable. A well mastered album should not be brickwalled - unfortunately, this one is, and it sounds terrible.

Bask In The Glory Of This Album

You cannot pass judgement on this piece of work from one listen. At first it sounds rough and unfinished, but if you want something substantal and satisfying the Flaming Lips will not let you down with Embryonic. This is a record you can listen to many times and find new things to discover. I say in a very complimentary way that this is their White Album.


For a band to keep innovating and making amazing music for so long -- well it's nearly unprecedented. I wouldn't call this album a return to form, but more of a blastofrackalicious mind-meld.


Formed: 1983 in Oklahoma City, OK

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Even within the eclectic world of alternative rock, few bands were so brave, so frequently brilliant, and so deliciously weird as the Flaming Lips. From their beginnings as Oklahoma weirdos to their mid-'90s pop culture breakthrough to their status as one of the most respected groups of the 21st century, the Lips rode one of the more surreal and haphazard career trajectories in pop music. An acid-bubblegum band with as much affinity for sweet melodies as blistering noise assaults, their off-kilter...
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