Like a haunted carousel or a broken music box, every inch of song is rich in warbling, pulsing, clanking, scraping sound.
Review by David Feltman
As one might guess from the title of The Flaming Lips’ newest album, The Terror has none of the bubbly, kooky pop of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots or Clouds Taste Metallic. Wayne Coyne and company have fashioned instead a somber and pensive album constructed leanly on nine solid tracks.
One part Can and one part My Bloody Valentine, The Terror is soft, angst ridden and blanketed in ambient sound. Like a haunted carousel or a broken music box, every inch of song is rich in warbling, pulsing, clanking, scraping sound. Echoes and repetition form songs like “You Lust” and “The Terror,” generating a sort of meditative fugue state. Coyne’s yielding falsetto is applied equally with these elements, never leading but never dissipating into the background. For all of the despondency and desolation contained in the album, there’s an underlying tranquility that makes it bearable.
The Terror is an album in the true sense. Each piece is incredibly dense and strong enough to stand on its own and yet has been carefully crafted to emphasize and intensify its fellow songs. The chaos and weirdness that has plagued the band’s post-Embryonic releases has been shed. There is nothing exactly commercial or radio friendly on this record either, but, like Thoreau at Walden Pond, The Flaming Lips gave up such trappings years ago. Their pond, however, seems to have recently suffered some terrible and creepy industrial accident.