The Flaming Lips - The Terror
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2013 Ratings: #196 / 972
User Score
Based on 208 ratings
2013 Ratings: #226
April 1, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Bella Union and Warner Bros / Label
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A.V. Club

The Terror is the sound of The Flaming Lips going from a group experience to an internal monologue, the perfect record for any fan who has ever felt like the band could use two “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”s for every “Race For The Prize.”

No Ripcord

It at least represents the culmination of all of The Flaming Lips’ oddball experiments and elongated, anti-sonorous jams into a single, abrasively beautiful cacophony. 

Consequence of Sound

The energy poured into The Terror, however, reveals a band that doesn’t mind sacrificing all they’ve earned for a fresh thought.


By facing down the exhausting nature of depression and loneliness (seriously, Coyne sounds so depleted that he can barely muster the dejection to sing, and yes, that's a compliment), the Lips have retroactively strengthened their entire artistic credo.


It’s a different record for The Flaming Lips, but an exceptionally interesting one. It takes the same ideas they’ve been exploring for years, but this time they’re examining the other side of the coin.

Drowned in Sound

After it burrows its way under your skin, The Terror does genuinely feel like something of a dark masterpiece, the album you’ll stick on to discredit anyone who tries to claim The Flaming Lips are lacking in depth or darkness.

The 405

With The Terror, the visual side is in the imagery the music creates: and its sound is cohesive, powerful and emotive.


This record won’t have thousands of hands propelling Coyne above their heads in a plastic ball when the band tour it. It’s the sound of the man inside the ball feeling an unknowable fear and trying to accept it.

Tiny Mix Tapes

The Terror may be The Flaming Lips’ most concise statement to date. But it’s not clear whether they’re at the deep end of an oscillation or whether this is the logical end of all their work.


The Terror may be the Flaming Lips' most demanding album to date, but it’s also the most sonically of a piece, immediately thrusting you into its dense miasma and seamlessly dissolving one track into one another

Beats Per Minute

There aren’t many other albums that sound like The Terror, and while clearly a work of The Flaming Lips there is enough that is new here for old and new fans alike to engage with it.


Wilfully bleak, wilfully obtuse, wilfully awkward and wilfully ugly.


Here, Coyne transforms his persona, and the band follows suit, breaking down and punching holes in the explorations they’ve dug into over the past few years.

The Needle Drop
On their latest full-length, The Flaming Lips bring vivid sounds and a strong aesthetic, but don't offer the songs, execution, or variety to back it up.
The Flaming Lips' further descent into bleak atmospheres and loveless themes unexpectedly make for yet another rare winner in their inconsistent discography full of serious ups (Embryonic) and downs (At War With the Mystics).

'Look...The Sun Is Rising' is the final wave goodbye to your love and sanity as it crumbles it down in tuneless chaos with pummelling drums and buzzsaw guitars.

'Be Free, a Way' explores the vastness and freedom of this terror through a drifting lullaby.

'Try to ... read more
A wholly underrated effort from The Flaming Lips that serves as an appropriate turn from their previous proper LP Embryonic. Where Embryonic saw the group traveling deeper down a realm of psychedelic noise and bizarre instrumentation more for the purpose of serious musicianship rather than quirky fun and poppy hits, The Terror utilizes both psychedelia along with ambiance to go in an even deeper, darker side of their experimentation for the sake of emotional development.

For those who know ... read more
The Terror, Flaming Lips' last great album, highlighted the band further experiments down the rabbit-hole introduced on the great Embryonic, a few years before. While on that album, the band struck gold with that lunatic loud noise-rock aesthetic, on The Terror they incorporated a few of the many ideas presented there, but took an interesting left-turn to a more haunting, settled-down direction. The song structures here feel much more loose, ocasionally improvised and certainly krautrock ... read more
I actually found this to be more enjoyable than Embryonic, it's a more patient album but it's one that I found to be really rewarding. Despite it's somewhat slow pace, I think it has fewer dull moments than Embryonic because the sounds they use on this thing are very unpredictable and occasionally creepy which for me, kept things a little more exciting and suspenseful. The compositions here feel a lot more haunting though and they do a great job of creating a thick atmosphere. Lyrically, it's a ... read more
Conflicted on this one. Lyrics are bleak yet convey so much meaning especially when combined with the eerie ambience, something I love about this project. I just find it hard to sit through the whole thing, maybe because of it practically being one long song split up into 9 separate ones. After a while the hazy atmosphere can feel nauseating like being stuck in a spiral that after a while gets a bit too much.
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Track List

  1. Look...The Sun Is Rising 
  2. Be Free, A Way
  3. Try To Explain 
  4. You Lust 
  5. The Terror 
  6. You Are Alone 
  7. Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die 
  8. Turning Violent 
  9. Always There...In Our Hearts
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Added on: January 24, 2013