Killed By A Crescendo

The Flaming Lips and 2006

The Flaming LipsMr. Ambulance Driver (video)

With such an amazing year in music having come and gone, the sky was stormy and doubtful of revealing any sign of a glorious environment until now. The Year In Music: 2006 is apt to follow the precedent as new well-anticipated albums are now on the scene. The new Cat Power album, The Shins’ new release, Wilco’s return, a Outkast movie soundtrack, another Arcade Fire release, the reunion of the Fugees, debuts from We Are Scientists to Morningwood… I could go on. But it’s clear that 2006 will impress us a great deal.

Now, it must be said, this Flaming Lip’s video is rediculous. I dont have any info on the disco Yankee, but he’s entertaining despite his dirty south style. But delve into the music– now, I am not apt to say that this is a better or worse release compared to the new single “The Wand,” which seems to have most of its listeners mesmerized, for I have yet to hear it myself. The Flaming Lips hold an impressive history as one of the best ‘weird-rock’ bands of our culture, as well as the frequent one hit wonder. As much as I love the pyschedelia and optimism of weirdo-rock, The Flaming Lips are not a band that I find myself enthralled with, but some respect and taking their songs in stride have gotten me a long way.

The most gentle and sweet tone guides the music, typical of the Flaming Lips’ style, as harmony sets in the ears to protect you from what maybe even more humdrum lyrics. Lyrics. Everyone loves the zippy, kooky song, that eclectic band they love so much because it’s as original as a fingerprint. People can identify themselves with an eccentric band, no matter what size the following, because they make us and our lives more interesting. But are we sacrificing creativity by tolerating silly and unfocused lyrics? One thing that I have picked up on by listening to The Flaming Lips is that along with their demented yet enchanting image, the songwriting and instrumentation find calm grounds, and can be very soothing, almost healing. “Mr. Ambulance Driver” doesnt fall in line. A Neo-Hippie pursuit in the hopes of having us all singing songs of peace and unification with everyone and everything isn’t quite my style. The sound is intriguing, and it pretty much ends there. It’s not so much that the lyrics are silly, they’re somewhat dark, actually, and the sound that accompanies the songs doesnt really seem to be introduced in the correct venue. I think it’s a midirected ode as well, for is Mr. Coyne just merely pleading with god about his macabre thoughts?  Or maybe an angel of death. That’s stretching the meaning to a fine degree, but it certainly would fit into the psychedelic  mindset the instrumentation channels you to.

This certainly isn’t a hit single, I’m supposing “The Wand” is, but if you’re high, and you feel the vibe, have lots of fun braiding hemp and picking flowers… or just mourning winter, to this song.


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  1. * Pete says:

    Wow, I feel totally different about their lyrics, but I agree about Mr. Ambulance Driver not being the hit single.
    The Flaming Lips used to write crazy lyrics, that made sense only after the 50th listen, becuase Wayne hid what he really meant behind a metaphorical shield. Recently in the albums Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots he started saying exactly what he meant, but the lyrics are still pretty wierd, and often clash with the sound of a song unless you see them together as a full message; such as in “Do You Realize” an ultra happy love ballad type song where he says “Do you realize, that everyone you know will die” and taken alone that sounds pretty melacholy, but taken as a whole the point of the song is that you need to let the people you love, know that you love them; and that even though life is fleeting(or maybe becuase it is fleeting), it is sweet and wonderful. I’ve always loved their lyrics.

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 4 months ago

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