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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

Right move, for sure

I am one of the Lips' longest-running fans. I used to see them hanging around Norman at Shadowplay Records. I saw them open up for The Replacements in OKC back in 1987. I have their first two LP's, the rare EP on purple swirl vinyl and Hear It Is on rare white vinyl. I remember many shows when the entire band would wrap themselves in Christmas lights and those would be the only lights on in the club. Trippy. They are a true success story. That being said, I have been concerned about the direction of their last couple of albums. Those albums are good in their own way, but Embryonic is the Lips' sound I fell for all those years ago. I think this is a smart move for them. No more Kraft dressing commercials and schmoozing with low-life Oklahoma legislators. A very good return to form in my opinion.

One of the best of the year...

Up there with Merriweather Post Pavillion and Veckatimest. A dark, sprawling, uplifting, gorgeous meditation on life and death, light and dark, love and hate. Powerful stuff.


First of all, I have not listened to all of the Lips albums and I listen to the Lips when I'm SOBER. I adore Yoshimi, Soft Bulliten, and a couple songs off Zaireeka. At War With The Mystics was rather dissappointing in my opinion, but hey, that's just me. I haven't listened to any of their older albums (just haven't gotten around to them). I also don't know Pink Floyd, so I won't even comment on the similarities. That being said, I love this album. If you're familiar with the Lips, picture the dirty songwriting/recording concept of Soft Bulliten put together with some of the awesome sounds of Yoshimi and, finally, worked in amongst the brutality of Zaireeka: you now know Embryonic. If you don't know Lips, to be perfectly honest, this may not be the best album to buy. This is not an average pop-album. According to an NPR interview, this whole CD evolved from a series of jams and you can hear it: There isn't a strict sense of beat in some places (which can be very disorienting if you're not used to it), there's a lot raw-ness, and an emphasis on sounds/instrumental bits. If you can open yourself up a little, I'm sure you'll adore this album just as I do.


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 2000s, 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 sound,...
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