Hailing from my native state of Oklahoma, The Flaming Lips have made some of the most interesting and fun music of the past three decades. They are weird and wonderful, but they can also be a bit introspective. The Lips have plenty of classic albums but none of them show each side of their music like Yoshimi.
“The test begins…… Now.”
So it does. Fight Test starts us out right with a grooving bass-line, wonky drums, and some great philosophical lyrics by Wayne Coyne. I often think about what Flaming Lips song I like best and it often comes down to this one and What Is The Light? from 1999′s The Soft Bulletin. This has a really fun sounding instrumental but the words being said are truly lovely.
“I don’t know where the sunbeams end and the star lights begin, it’s all a mystery. And I don’t know how a man decides what’s right for his own life, it’s all a mystery.”
Fight Test is a masterpiece and one of the best songs of the 2000s.
One More Robot is the next track and it’s a more downtempo and somber number than Fight Test. It’s bass is more prominent. Speaking of which, I’d just like to say that I feel that Michael Ivins is a underrated bassist. He’s much better than the guy from Rush. Things don’t stay slow for long. The first part of our title track is a really funny sing-along about the girl who has to save the world from evil Robots bent on eating us. No, it doesn’t make anymore sense in the song. It doesn’t have to. I said it doesn’t have to! Geez. Part two of the title track is this strange instrumental with fuzz distortion and a girl screaming. Make of that what you will.
In The Morning of The Magicians is a bit more “normal” but it still has the spacey feel that bleeds through all the tracks on the album. Ego Tripping At The Gates of Hell is a little bit heavier but still just as trippy. yeah, try writing a Flaming Lips review without using the word trippy or a synonym there of. It’s quite the challenge. Are You A Hypnotist? is softer but the lyrics are even more paranoid. Beneath this sunshiney exterior, Yoshimi has some dark things going on.
We are now entering the final stretch. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are really floating in space. It’s Summertime has a chorus that can overtake you. Wayne’s voice seems to be the universe enveloping you. Surrounding you. You now belong to Wayne Coyne. If there is one track that can be said to be the Flaming Lips’ defining track, it would have to be Do You Realize??? The lyrics, while seeming bleak at first, are actually a hopeful plea to hold on and get through the bad times. The music is a joyous thing indeed. It sounds like Bowie’s Major Tom formed a marching band while he was floating ’round his tin can. If you want to get into the Flaming Lips, this would be the track to listen to. Masterpiece. All We Have Is Now is quieter number that really culminates all the ideas that were stated throughout the album. It’s also a masterpiece. Actually, there is not a single bad song on this album. We get an “end credits” instrumental with Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon. It is just a good electronic track. We fade out.
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots is a classic of the 2000s and man do I love The Flaming Lips. This album will cheer you up if you are blue, it will make you think, it will reassure you of life, it will do whatever it wishes to do because it is Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. One of the highlights of my career as a music fan so far is seeing The Flaming Lips in concert. Needless to say, they ended with Do You Realize??? That’s they way it was meant to be.
“Do you realize
That everyone you know, someday, will die
But instead of saying all of your goodbyes,
Let them know you realize that life goes fast,
It’s hard to make the good times last,
You realize that the sun doesn’t go down,
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.
Do you realize?”