The Flaming Lips, King's Mouth
John Fisher, 8/7/19
Our foundations are important. The Flaming Lips have been a surprisingly constant band in my life ever since that She Don’t use Jelly BS song (the worst song on the album) revealed the closest thing to this era’s Beatles. Transmissions from the Satellite Heart released in 1993! Turn it On, Oh My Pregnant Head, Chewin the Apple of Your Eye, Superhumans, Be My Head, Moth in the Incubator, Plastic Jesus, When Yer Twenty Two, and SLOW NERVE ACTION (arguably the best grunge song of the 90s)…all on one album!!!??? Can you say most underrated album of the 90s? I was 11 when that album released, and 1992, a year earlier, marked one of the first albums I ever bought on a tape (Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger). THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS!
Fast forward almost 30 years since that album was released (not their debut btw) and we have King’s Mouth. In between, TFL have released a few must have albums, which happens to a few choice bands. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, The Soft Bulletin? ABSOLUTE classics right up there with Transmissions. The Flaming Lips are the closest thing to the Beatles for our generation (you know who you are!).
This new one is officially in the lead for album of the year for 2019. On this album, the theme follows a king from birth to afterlife, born as a giant baby with his mother dying in childbirth. The king eventually dies a hero, saving his people, who continued on his spirit by living in his head after death. In “The Sparrow” we are introduced to that distinct Flaming Lips’ sound. Wayne Coyne continues to impress with that voice. TFL nowadays puts its listeners in a trance, but will stop things just enough and introduce a new section at just the right time to keep things interesting, then revert back to pleasantries. The Flaming Lips put out another incredibly pleasant sounding album with this one, and delivered on the requirement for at least one track for the masses, with “All for the Life of the City.” This track is this album’s “Do You Realize.”
Every track is useful in contributing to the whole on this album, an instant classic that is so pleasant to fall into for about 40 minutes. It takes a few listens for the album to sink in, and there are a lot of intricacies to explore. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I have!
For me, I am thrilled on what is to come! It looks like Tahoe is my next chapter and I can’t wait! To Be Continued…