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Open Your Heart to The Flaming Lips
on 7 November 2013
The Flaming Lips' second major release of the year, coming less than 6 months after The Terror see the band in a far more optimistic mood. Peace Sword is an EP as opposed to an album nevertheless it has a running time of over 35 minutes, which is longer than some albums. The six tracks contained here are all excellent, and some are up there with The Flaming Lips' classics.
Being a long term fan of The Flaming Lips I was always going to buy this, and indeed did on the day it became available. The sound is a progression from The Terror and this is a good thing as the direction The Flaming Lips have been heading in in recent years may have lost those who came aboard circa Yoshimi but has seen the band grow artistically and become one of the most pioneering bands in the history of music, those who choose to give up on The Flaming Lips after Embryonic have missed out on some of the best new music of recent years. Unlike their output of 2011/2012, which produced a few gems though quite a bit of chaff, 2013 has seen The Flaming Lips put out two collections of some of their strongest material, indeed with their recent live shows highlighting The Terror it's easy to see how happy the band themselves are of their most recent work.
Opening up with the Theme to the motion picture Ender's Game, Peace Sword (Open Your Heart) is an uplifting piece of sci-chedelica with The Flaming Lips exploring some of the themes of the movie which has to be one of the best theme songs to a movie to be released in a long time, which also works as a song all by itself. Next up is If They Move, Shoot 'Em, one of the five songs which aren't featured in the film but are inspired by Orson Scott Card's novel, which is the closest track in feel to The Terror which explores the central theme of the book that Ender is under the illusion that he is just playing a game rather than actually affecting real life. Next track is the stand out track, Is the Black at the End Good?, this is a bonafide Flaming Lips classic, a track which is both uplifting and pulls at your heartstrings at the same time, it is simply beautiful. Think Like a Machine, Not a Boy is next, swathed in sci-fi synths and gentle acoustics is a simple song about the empathy which Ender feels towards the Fornics (Buggers) which is twisted by the military in order to achieve their goal. Wolf Children follows, which is driven by a killer synthetic bass line before exploding into another uplifting psychedelic masterpiece. The final track is Assassin Beetle/The Dream is Ending, the first part is instrumental which builds sonically both in quiet and loud sections before going into the second part finishes the story whilst revisiting the start in an ourobouros way.
If you are a fan of The Flaming Lips then you will love this, if you've came across it and you have a broad taste in music then give it a go the chances are it'll get into your subconcsious like all great music does and you'll end up loving it. Another masterpiece from a band who keep delivering masterpiece after masterpiece, The Flaming Lips are a special and unique band who once you discover will change your life.