The Flaming Lips - Clouds Taste Metallic

Album cover

  1. The Abandoned Hospital Ship (3:39)
  2. Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles (3:27)
  3. Placebo Headwound (3:41)
  4. This Here Giraffe (3:46)
  5. Brainville (3:13)
  6. Guy Who got a Headache and Accidentally Saves the World (4:29)
  7. When You Smile (3:13)
  8. Kim's Watermelon Gun (3:21)
  9. They Punctured My Yolk (4:21)
  10. Lightning Strikes the Postman (2:50)
  11. Christmas at the Zoo (3:07)
  12. Evil Will Prevail (3:46)
  13. Bad Days (4:37)

Warner Bros., 1995

A fluffy nugget of scatter-brained psychedelic pop from the Lips' earlier days. To listeners like me coming to this era of the band via "Soft Bulletin" or "Yoshimi", it's much more dirtied-up. Despite there not being much discipline, their free-flowing strumalongs spawn a few enjoyable tunes. Its stargazing, hallucinatory mood makes you wonder what Syd Barrett would have been doing in an alternate life.

Although hippy banalities like "where does outer space end, kind of hard to imagine" are hard to forgive, it's really hard to diss an album like this. The band sound like they're having so much fun. Wayne Coyne always sounds earnest and eager to please with his scooping nasal vocals, but sometimes sings higher than is really pleasant. It seems pretty much thrown together with little inhibition, twangy and fuzzed-up guitars, and productions littered with oddball sound effects and quirks. But the end product is light-hearted and loose, not a mess.

If you're looking for a spark of genius try "Soft Bulletin", but "Clouds Taste Metallic" is worth it for a dose of demented fun, even though blaring tunes like "This Here Giraffe" and "Brainville" do become a bit too demented after a few plays. It even has two songs about braaains.

June 3, 2005

6 out of 10

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written and maintained by Christopher Jackson