Music Monday: Flaming Lips’ Latest Is Moody and Masterful

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Flaming Lips
Embryonic
Warner Bros.

Confession: I don’t know much about The Flaming Lips. Sure, I’ve heard a few of their big songs, like “She Don’t Use Jelly” and my favorite, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” But it was from a mostly neophyte perspective that I listened to their latest release, Embryonic.

Verdict: Why have I been missing out on these guys? From the opening strains of “Convinced Of The Hex” to the closing growl of “Watching The Planets,” the Lips create a hypnotic, moody world reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s epic “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The group’s neatest hat trick is to be both sprawling and focused, due in large part to thematic consistency between its lyrics and music. While the tone of the album is often animalistic—pounding drums, primal vocals—the lyrics literalize the concept in tunes like “Worm Mountain” and “I Can Be a Frog” (featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O doing creature impersonations). Similarly, in “Evil,” when a cacophonous melody gives way to sparse beauty, frontman Wayne Coyne croons, See the sun, it’s trying again.

Like many great albums, Embryonic is best enjoyed as a complete entity. Rather than a string of singles, it feels like a universe of sound, carefully created and richly textured. If the Lips’ other CDs or live shows are anywhere this good, I may just have to become a full-fledged fan.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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