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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different... but worth it
'The Terror' looks set to be something of a polarising album for The Flaming Lips. Fans gathered up in the wake of 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots' and 'At War With The Mystics' who have been frustrated or confused by the band's recent freefall to their more experimental and roaming roots will likely find little to love here. Indeed on first listen 'The Terror' is a...
Published 16 months ago by P. Cox

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misjudged
Each Lips new release is eagerly anticipated... will they come up with another brilliant commercial production in the style of Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi, etc. or will they explore still further, and once more push the boundaries in their own gloriously chaotic style?

Happily with The Terror it's the latter, but...
It took me some time to get into Embryonic -...
Published 13 months ago by Mr. Michael Magee


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different... but worth it, 1 April 2013
By 
P. Cox "post-grape" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
'The Terror' looks set to be something of a polarising album for The Flaming Lips. Fans gathered up in the wake of 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots' and 'At War With The Mystics' who have been frustrated or confused by the band's recent freefall to their more experimental and roaming roots will likely find little to love here. Indeed on first listen 'The Terror' is a little bewildering; all chilly krautrock and barely audible lyrics that sound more like mantras than narrative verse. 'The Terror' is a leap further into the distance than either 'Embryonic' or 'Heady Fwends' were.

Here it sounds as though Yoshimi lost the battle with the pink robots. Wilco sang that Hell is chrome. The Flaming Lips seem to be evoking that image on 'The Terror'. It's a disquieting, utterly beautiful place to visit.

This is quite pointedly the bleakest Flaming Lips album in memory. Something seems to be deeply wrong in Wayne Coyne's rainbow universe for this to be the by-product. They've made songs about death and evil many many times before, but usually balanced against chirpy upbeat melodies. There is no such relief here. All is uncertainty and fear.

However... it's sublime. Give it time and your attention and 'The Terror' reveals itself. No, it's not a singles album, but it is a remarkably cohesive set more focused on texture and mood. This is a set to be listened to in its entirety, not dipped in and out of. Like the best albums it works as a whole (tellingly, the deluxe download edition even includes a version without track stops). Recently the band were involved in a cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. That album is recalled here. 'The Terror' is a song cycle and in that sense harks back lovingly to the concept albums of the 70s.

On these terms it is a revelation and one of their best works, one which demands your full attention. Sure it sounds light years away from the crowd-pleasing pop songs of 'The Soft Bulletin' or 'Clouds Taste Metallic', but get to know it and 'The Terror' offers as much reward as their more beloved pop records. As blissful as it is disturbing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liptastic, 5 April 2013
By 
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
Like the last reviewer I am a bit surprised at some of the reactions to this album. It's a bit like someone complaining that Dylan's gone electric in 2013. The Flaming Lips' last two albums, Embryonic and Heady Fwiends were ambitious and sometimes challenging. In fact the latter of the two is still some way off making it's way into my regular listening pile.. This on the other hand had an instant appeal for me which took me quite by surprise. I put it on expecting and album which would be a challenge (albeit a pleasant one) and what I got was some of the most beautiful music I have heard for a long time. Yes, it's a bit dark but Berlin is my favourite Lou Reed album so that is no problem for me :)
"Be Free, A Way" and "Try To Explain" are simply stunning. Melodic, lyrically interesting as ever and enshrouded in arrangements which throw up something new each time I listen. Definite additions to my list of top Lips tracks. The rest of the album is still sinking in in a very enjoyable way.
Another fantastic addition to the Lips catalogue. Lyrically darker than anything they have done but to my mind musically much gentler and melodic than anything they have done for quite a while too.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Joy, The Awe, The Wonder, 4 April 2013
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
Prophesies that this is a polarising album are borne out by the reviews to date which are of the 5 or 1 star variety only. While I can see (if vehemently disagree) why some people hate, eg, "Trout Mask Replica" or Coltrane's "Ascension", I am truly bewildered at the contempt by long-term Lips listeners. "The Terror" is still the work of the same group who made "Yoshimi", albeit with different production techniques. It is a textured, transcendental and often beautiful album (witness the surge of sound which ushers in "Be Free, A Way" and the interplay between the percussive sounds and the sweep of synth). Even the most obviously challenging song, the 13 minute "You Lust", is bewitching and almost as good as the fantastic "Machine Gun" by Portishead to which it pays a singular debt.

Throughout, Wayne Coyne is is fine, if fragile and high-pitched voice although, sad to say, the lyrics are as disappointing as those on "Embryonic" given his unique observational and expressive skills best deployed on "Zaireeka", "the Soft Bulletin" and "Yoshimi" itself. This caveat aside, this is an excellent album and confirms there is more mileage in one of the most intriguing journeys in modern music
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific/ifying, 25 Dec 2013
By 
Gannon (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
Lay your cards down early. Those seeking or wanting The Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi mark II will, again, and at best, be disappointed for The Terror runs with Embryonic's weirder and more experimental elements and then some. That's not to say that fans of those records won't enjoy The Terror, but they may have to work to do so for there are no commercial takeaways, little respite from Commander Coyne's intergalactic vision.

As one hand repulses though so does the second beckon you forward. Amidst bubbling melancholy, multi-masking effects and dreary drones lie snippets and fragments of fragile beauty erupting like the first beams of daybreak. Coyne is on mute form too, perhaps the product of his recent marital failing, but musically he still makes the most of it, floating on lush synth-play while simultaneously being tormented by fizzy static and harsh, almost kraut-like drive.

Dark, its tracks largely segueing into to one another to form an uncompromising stream of demanding psychedelia, but with a lightness of touch that allows it to breathe, The Terror - the band's 13th album of course - is terrifying stuff indeed, but so too is it hugely rewarding.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Terror, 16 Aug 2013
By 
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
I sat on my doorstep at 5 in the morning with this on my headphones watching the sun come up Bliss :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying beauty, 4 April 2013
By 
S. Cosyns "POPPY" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
It's a tough listen but if you bear with Wayne Coyne and Co's new album, something profound, disturbing and, at times, beautiful emerges from its pulsing electronic soup. We live in a challenging, terrifying world... The Terror reflects it
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Terror in your head., 7 April 2013
By 
Paul M "ROYALSFAN" (Reading ,England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
Listening to the Terror is not an easy experience, especially for those weaned on the Flaming Lips joyous and eccentric take on life. Maybe its the [ alleged ] drug use by Wayne Coyne, or perhaps its a response to his personal trials over the last few years, but the fact remains that The Terror is an uncomfortable and somewhat challenging album that further develops the minimalistic path laid by Embryonic .

The Terror is uncompromising in its lyrical bleakness, but has a musical sheen that Embryonic lacked in parts.The Terror relies heavily on atmospherics and electronics to such an extent that the use of guitar and drums can come as a welcome jolt from the blue when they are eventually used. This is perhaps what makes the album so intriguing and engaging [ what comes to my mind is a hybrid of the Orb's Ultraworld album and Radiohead's brave and masterful Kid'A'. However others will quite rightly hear other influences].

Musically, the album starts with an electronic pulse, as opener, Look ...The Sun is Rising falls into some very uncomfortable electronicia driven by Kliph Scurlocks metronomic drumming, whilst Be Free A Way has a typical Lips vocal melody, that would not be out of place on The Soft Bulletin.

Try To Explain is the most personal song on the album, with a heartbreaking chorus that yearns for an answer to a collapsing relationship.Always seemingly in control, this is Wayne Coyne at his most emotionally wounded and its not a pleasant experience.This is my personal highlight on the album. The pulsing, You Lust is next and its the albums centrepiece, clocking in at thirteen minutes. An engaging, complex mutation of musical prowess, electronic pulses, and mood atmosphrics, You Lust brings an almost epic quality to the songs theme of hopelessness.Needless to say, its a brilliant statement from the band. Following You Lust and Try To Explain, means that the album's title track, fails to engage in quite the same way.

You Are Alone has an almost familiar, and certainly welcome, drum beat introduction that brings a sense of normaility to perhaps the most conventional song on the album .However, the dirty electronics, and hopelessness return for Butterfly, How Long does it take to Die.Turning Violent, and Always There in Our Hearts, round of the album in a more musically upbeat fashion.
There is also an additional cd with two tracks, Sun Blows Up Today, and a cute cover of All You Need is Love. Sensibly, perhaps, both tracks were left off the running order for being more upbeat than the parent album but they offer some welcome positive vibes in the midst of The Terror's overall downbeat tone
What the Terror does so well is that it returns the Flaming Lips back to their experimental best. It's also highly unlikely that a major band or artist will make an album of music that challenges their audience to this extent for a long time. Remarkably, The Terror is not cynical or even particularly angry lyrically, just downbeat and reflecting the bands singers state of mind at the time of the recording sessions.

The bands ability to play with musical extremes and engage a global audience is the Flaming Lips greatest strength and why they remain such a well respected unit,and simply put their musical bi-polarity means that you never quite know what the band will do next. The Terror continues the bands proud tradition of unpredictability.

FOOTNOTE - Well I have now received my beautiful vinyl copy of The Terror, and whilst I have written about the music, the double vinylset [black this time!], is a thing to behold. With a laminated metallic effect sleeve, two records, a bonus seven inch single in its own picture sleeve, and a copy of the cd to boot, this is a good value package that should appeal to fans of the band and vinyl junkies alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNEASY LIKE A DARK DREAM, 27 July 2013
By 
LOSTBALLS (Wild West, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
The ever experimental Flaming Lips have made on first listens a difficult, crutch of an album. Keep listening and it will come up and bite you in the ghoulies. Hold on if you can!?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A step forward - an important Lips album, 5 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
Lifelong Lips fan and owner of the full catalogue, and somewhat surprised by the low votes on this one. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

A quick word on that. Anyone who heard Embryonic, Heady Fwendz and the various other one off vids the band put out in the last year or two should surely have seen the direction they were taking. This is no departure. Yes, it's wildly different from Yoshimi and Mystics, but THEY were the departures from the norm.

The Terror for me shares much with Zaireeka, and it's sibling, The Soft Bulletin - both sonically and in the themes it covers (fear, breakdown, loss). In fact on some tracks, the similarities are quite striking I found. Last year the band performed a series of special shows in which they performed the whole of Bulletin, including some tracks they had never performed live before. That album was recorded at an important time for the band, and is linked to some painful memories. In some performances, Wayne Coyne was visibly distressed and tearful on stage. Could those performances have influenced The Terror?

It's a stark album and chilling, but many Lips albums carry that theme. Yet within that, there is the usual warmth of sound. It's also a sonic challenge and full of experimentation, but again, that is what the Lips do best.

If your idea of the Flaming Lips is 'Mystics', coupled with a range of comedy videos, then this will strike you as odd. But listen to the whole canon and you will see exactly how this fits.

For me this is an important and relevant Lips album that deserves much listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it time, 11 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Terror (Audio CD)
On first play I simply did not get it. Was it supposed to be obscure background music? Nothing seemed to stand out, no single track had anything resembling a hook or a chorus. Was I missing something - YES!!
One day I decided to play the whole thing at volume and really listen to it. What a revelation, it now made sense.
I am not going to tell you what I thought the album meant because it will mean something entirely different to you.
As a Lips fan I will say that this is my favourite since SB so that is reason alone for buying it.
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