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4.1 out of 5 stars
Peace Sword [12" Vinyl]
Format: Vinyl|Change
Price:£21.20+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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.
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on 5 January 2014
This is back a bit to the Flaming Lips sound of Yoshimi, mixed with the sound scape sounds of The Terror. It has moments of greatness with lush happy/sad melodies and some trippy sounds generated by modern technology, but for me the production comes across as if to make it sound like the speakers are faulty, so you do not get clarity of the components making up the overall sound you hear, even worse on a ipod. In summary not bad at all, I just wish the production was clearer and then maybe I would have enjoyed it more.
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on 17 February 2014
Wonderful return to form, and as a 6 track mini album easy to accommodate listening-through in one sitting. Pop it on, turn it up, close your eyes and let it swamp you. The vinyl is superb, great quality and packaging (if a little difficult to read given the closeness of the colour tones employed. Ultimately of little importance). Also, you get a free CD inside. Well worth it. Go on, treat yourself!
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on 18 November 2013
I must start by saying that I'm not one of those huge Flaming Lips fans. I do like some of their later albums though. At War With The Mystics is where I really came on board properly. Liked Embryonic quite a bit and The Terror a lot. This EP is up there with those recordings in my opinion though stylistically quite different. More keyboard-orientated and symphonic than previous outings but none the worse for that.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 January 2014
This one snuck up on me. After a drought where The Flaming Lips would disappear for years, now, their release schedule is certifiably insane : turning the art of making music into fetishised, incredibly limited, niche objects such as USB sticks buried in huge lumps of skull-shaped confectionary, unannounced limited runs of vinyl that you can only buy in one specific store, or a 24 hour, 3GB drone piece. They have deliberately distanced themselves from accessability, and left us with a discography that resembles a paint tin shot with a snipers rifle, scattered to the winds, impossible because of size to truly digest, and thus, this "Peace Sword" - their second major release of 2013 - is actually a 34 minute EP made of six songs recorded for the "Enders Game" film that were rejected by the producers. Not that it sounds like a bunch of rejects, more an excellent, cinematic mini album in its right. The starter "Open Your Heart" is a bright and breezy thing, and unlike the preceding "Terror", this is a record where the sound is experimental, but not oppressive or unreasonably dark. The days of the hummable, pop thrill of "Yoshimi" are long gone, but wouldn't it be more depressing if the Flips actually went nowhere and explored nothing with their sound? Sure, headlining stadiums is not the next career move for this band now, but again, a prolific act that frequently issue new material that is challenging and thoughtful? That's rare, and useful.
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on 23 February 2014
good enough for a stop gap,if you like the Lips then this will do.Not their best but pretty good all the same.
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on 10 January 2014
This EP has forced me to write my first Amazon review.
As a modern Flaming Lips fan (i.e. Clouds Taste Metallic onwards) I have worried recently (And btw Clouds Taste Metallic is as good as the main two) that they were sacrificing melody for experimental noise.
Simply put, with Peace Sword they have (maybe inadvertently) fused their fascination with sonic experimentation with old fashioned melody to perfection. This is where the Flaming Lips have been heading and I would like to hear more.
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