AOTY 2023
The Flaming Lips - American Head
Sep 13, 2020
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 portion of The Soft Bulletin's tracklist. American Head though, simply is not The Flaming Lips' strongest set of tracks in this fashion. The LP's focus thematically is at least interesting, being about how we perceive the world as a child versus as an adult. Frontman Wayne Coyne's worries about his brother's drug addiction when he was young was a big inspiration for this record. You can still count on the band for making some fun songs though, like "You n Me Sellin' Weed", which as you can tell by the title, it's one of the strangest ballads you'll ever hear. I also love "Mother Please Don't Be Sad", an emotional piece of piano pop, that ties in the album's themes well. The majority of the tracklist consists of that very slow, dreamy tunes, that are heavenly, and do have some nice layered instrumentation, but they also get real boring quickly, especially across the span of 50 minutes. While there are exceptions that I mentioned, the tracklist is in dire need of more sonic variety, because it gets tedious after a few tracks. I'm not expecting The Flaming Lips to write zany psych rock with release upon release, but if they want to make a full album of slow burners, then the songs just can't be sounding this samey, else my engagement won't last long. This is adult contemporary psychedelic pop balladry, and not much else.

Favorite tracks: "You n Me Sellin' Weed", "Mother Please Don't Be Sad", "Assassins of Youth"

Least favorite tracks: "My Religion is You"

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