American Head

The Flaming Lips - American Head
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2020 Ratings: #239 / 760
Year End Rank: #38
User Score
Based on 371 ratings
2020 Ratings: #150
Liked by 11 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Consequence of Sound

For the first time in nearly two decades, they’ve rediscovered this winning formula. As a result, American Head stands alongside The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots as one of the very best records The Flaming Lips have recorded.

90
Uncut
The whole of American Head finds Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd examining the nature of family, love, death and nostalgia with a sincerity and tenderness that's been missed.
90
Spectrum Culture

The Flaming Lips have been making music for 36 years and in all that time little equals the music of American Head.

90
Louder Than War

American Heads is an album that challenges the double-sided coin of nostalgia head on, embracing the highs, whilst confronting the lows. This open-ended offering brilliantly entices you to extrapolate meaning from it, to attach it to a time and space before letting it fully unfurl.

85
The Line of Best Fit

American Head is a rare concept album that actually coheres as a narrative, but can just as easily (but less rewardingly, perhaps) be enjoyed as simply a set of the band’s most potent and moving tunes since the early '00s.

80
Mojo

If we force ourselves inside American Head, we find it full of intimate details that eschew social distancing. Breathe it in.

80
Slant Magazine
It’s quintessential Coyne: a simultaneous reminder of humanity’s fragility and a celebration of its resilience.
80
NME

‘American Head’ is a soft, reflective moment of taking in and appreciating the vista once the trip has worn off – when king’s heads and evil pink robots have melted away – and the dust has settled.

80
The Independent

Another twist for the Lips, but one that’s beautiful and evocative.

80
AllMusic

Far from a rehash of the band's previous glories, American Head feels transformational; at once magical and down-to-earth, it's the album the Flaming Lips needed to make and fans needed to hear at this point in their career.

80
FLOOD Magazine

The Flaming Lips’ best and most fully realized albums since The Soft Bulletin.

80
American Songwriter

Tt’s likely listeners will be swept away by the celestial sounds and not especially focused on the stated theme.

80
The Needle Drop
The Flaming Lips bounce back from a hit-and-miss decade with a lush and ironically sobering concept album.
80
PopMatters
It's a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.
80
Dork
For the first time in over a decade, Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips have concocted their most consistent trip through their wonderland of neo-psychedelic dream-pop since their career highlights 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots' and 'The Soft Bulletin'. It's a trip very much worth taking.
78
Beats Per Minute

American Head does what its predecessors haven’t been able to do – it shows the Flaming Lips still know how to write thoughtful and sincere songs that also tap into the psychedelics their fans have come to expect.

77
Pitchfork

At the top of their third decade, the Lips rekindle their past romance with Neil Young’s piano ballads, the Beatles’ psychedelic guitar tones, and Bowie’s stargazing anthems on a deeply personal album.

76
Sputnikmusic

Akin to its lyrics, American Head ends up as a timeless adventure. Even though it tends to fall a bit too much on the mellow side, it’s great to see how focused The Flaming Lips are again.

75
Under The Radar

There is a certain comfort in settling in for the album’s nearly hour-long journey to the before and the beyond.

70
DIY

It may not get your feet moving but it’ll tug at the heartstrings. Each track builds up slowly like a rising tide that eventually envelops you. Compelling stuff.

70
musicOMH

Whilst it’s not quite in the same league as many of The Flaming Lips’ albums – not just The Soft Bulletin – it has plenty of worthy moments that can blossom in time.

70
Clash

This album for the most of its runtime remains parked back in the Flaming Lips’ wheelhouse.

60
Exclaim!

They've recorded what might be the most straightforward set of songs in their career to date.

58
Paste

For an album so steeped in nostalgia for the Flaming Lips’ early history, American Head never quite recaptures the feel of three inspired humans playing music together in a sweaty room.

40
The Observer

The American art-rockers try to revisit commercial highs, but their cliches fail to convince.

MasterCrackfox
82
For many, this should be seen as a return to form for a group that has been steadily the most quirky act in music for the better part of the last three decades. Their obvious peak years were between 1999-2009, where the group fully embraced the weirdness they had exhibited on Transmissions From the Satellite Heart and found the best possible translation of that weirdness. The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles, At War With the Mystics and Embryonic are some of the best work the group ever released ... read more
Muratka
90
After a one-year hiatus, The Flaming Lips are back as beautifully, boldly and proudly as possible.
21stcenturyschi
60
The Flaming Lips have quite the extensive discography ranging from the mid 80's, and they are still consistently releasing new albums. Most of the time their songs would switch between being odd, poppy and psychedelic and then slow and syrupy. American Head is definitely in the style of the latter, but I, and a majority of fans prefer the morw eccentric side to the group. It might sound like I had a bias going into this, but they still have great slower balladry tracks, I mean look at a fair ... read more
Supertartory
80
It’s been a long while since I last wrote anything, I’ve been busy with school and other more, depressing matters which I might get into in another review, but for now I wanted to start this day of reviews with probably the most niche of the three I’m going to be reviewing. The Flaming Lips up to this point have been very hit or miss for everyone. They had some amazing records in the mid 2000s, and then in 2014 they came out with two of their best EPs in Strobo Trip and 7 ... read more
sanfordfriedman
60
Cool textures and sounds, but a lack of any form of innovation especially in the songwriting...

Felt a little corny, especially when it came to the "we do drugs" songs, they felt very forced.
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Year End Lists

#10/MOJO
#32/Uncut

Track List

  1. Will You Return / When You Come Down
  2. Watching the Lightbugs Glow
  3. Flowers of Neptune 6
  4. Dinosaurs on the Mountain
  5. At the Movies on Quaaludes
  6. Mother, I've Taken LSD
  7. Brother Eye
  8. You n' Me Selling Weed
  9. Mother, Please Don't Be Sad
  10. When We Die When We're High
  11. Assassins of Youth
  12. God and the Policeman (feat. Kacey Musgraves)
  13. My Religion is You
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Added on: June 26, 2020