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Embryonic + The Terror + AT WAR WITH THE MYSTICS(180G V [Vinyl]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: WEA/Reprise
  • ASIN: B002MJM88O
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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18. Watching The Planets

Editorial Reviews

After lauded indie albums, The Flaming Lips debuted on Warner Bros. with 1991's Hit To Death In The Future Head. Transmissions From The Satellite Heart and Clouds Taste Metallic followed. 1999's TheSoft Bulletin topped numerous year-end best-of listsand helped rank the band among the most influential inthe world. 2002's Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots ranked #4 in Spin and #11 in NME on their end-of-yearlists, and won a Grammy. Most recently, the band's full length feature film and score album Christmas On Mars received critical acclaim at screenings across the country in 2008.

Customer Reviews

I only listen to this when I have the time to listen to it in its entirety.
Kevin G. Kamphaus
There are a couple of good songs and then some that just seem weird/odd just for the sake of being different.
It has depth and strong ties to older music and still manages to sound fresh.
S. Lomeli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By T. Owens on March 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I'm an old dude. Pushing 60. Spent my formative musical years in the 60's and 70's, a huge fan of groups like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, King Crimson, Yes, Traffic, Genesis, Roxy Music/Eno and more obscure groups like Gong, Camel, White Noise, Gang of Four and Le Orme. I wanted to present that perspective so you get where I'm coming from before saying I think Embryonic is a masterwork that stands up to the efforts of those vets who knew how to blend music, sound and noise into a sonic landscape that takes the listener on wonderful journeys.

Believe me, I understand that this is not everyone's cup of tea. It was never intended to be. I get it why some people might actually hate it, just like I used to get crinkled faces and jeers when I put on In the Court of the Crimson King or Topographic Oceans. But to the audience who enjoys more adventuresome opuses, who have the patience and desire to sit back, listen intently from beginning to end and just let the fun happen, this is one of the freshest, most original albums I have heard in years. Perhaps my favorite for all of 2009.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Marblehead Johnson VINE VOICE on October 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
"Embryonic" is the sound of the Flaming Lips returning to what garnered them fame in the first place. I have always respected the Flaming Lips for dedicating themselves to exploring sound at the detriment of everything else, even it means making a song that is downright difficult to listen to. It's not about doing what's safe for the Lips, it's about shaking things up.
Their last album troubled me because it seemed that the Lips couldn't figure out what direction they wanted to take, so they ended up releasing "Yoshimi-Part Two". "At War With The Mystics" was interesting, but not conducive to their talents. "Embryonic" gleefully breaks off that path of sameness and poppy tunes with a very sparse, dark sounding record that works fantastically.
Those of you who love Can will find many reasons to welcome this album to your heart. From beginning to end "Embryonic" is a relentless, percussive affair while injecting strange guitar interruptions and sudden keyboard stabs that are as fresh as they are unsettling. Even Wayne Coyne is summoning the spirit of Damo Suzuki with his unintelligible ranting and yelling while the groove behind him keeps chugging away into unknown territory. It's a slightly primal affair in its simplicity, but Coyne pushes it farther out into space with his bizarre vocal trickery. The music wants to find space to breath, but Coyne simply won't let it as he constantly is at odds with the idea of giving the listener any sense of normalcy. It's this constant push and pull that makes this album such a damn interesting listen.
There really aren't any standout tracks on "Embryonic". The album definitely reeks of "concept" as all of the tracks flow into one another, yet Coyne's lyrics seemingly don't have much meaning which makes it all the more mysterious.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Ian Manire on October 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The Flaming Lips, for the last decade purveyors of grinning, gleeful quirk-pop, festooned by confetti and bunny suits--a recipe with initial charm but diminishing returns--have, according to Wayne Coyne, killed off their "former selves . . . Our more crafty or calculated selves. Our less brave selves . . . Our less spontaneous selves". Thus in their 26th year, the band has created what I feel is their strongest work ever: `Embryonic'. The new album borrows from the production techniques and stylistic eclecticism of their previous best, `Zaireeka,' and from the manic energy and freak-out distortion of their 80s and early-90s albums. The stylishness and cinematic scope of their most acclaimed album, `The Soft Bulletin,' is channeled into a darker, sparer, more visceral direction. The two strands combine to create their most sophisticated and at the same time most visceral work. Though there are moments of silliness and optimism, most of the cartoonish clowning ("She Don't Use Jelly," "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots") and scrubbed-clean brightness of their mainstream successes is gone.

`Embryonic's central production feature is the classic Lips technique of very heavily compressing the drums, creating a distorted, absolutely massive sound, this time devoted to more intricate and sexier beats than ever before. Other sonic "solids" are created with stabs of distorted guitar, swooping harps, distant bells, and subtle percussion. But despite these distorted and compressed elements, the music is (literally) highly dynamic, and around and between these sonic boulders and rocks is a beautiful and melodious stream of electric piano and organ, treated vocals, strings and xylophones, and ambient texture.
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful By E-CLoud on October 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
When "At War With The Mystics" came out, I thought it was probably their most disappointing album, because it lacked the genuine energy they are known for. I thought to myself "i hope this is as far as they go in this direction, and I bet their next album will be much crazier". It is surely crazier.
I like many things about this new album. I like that the old flaming lips drum sound and drum pounding energy is back. I like that they got really creative with noise, sounds, guitar effects, and the general production and sound altogether. It's a nice change that it's not so electronic. I thought there were great electronic moments on yoshimi and at war with the mystics, but the live band format is what I loved them for in the first place. I love that they didn't adhere to too many pop song formulas that have (in my opinion) made them not as exciting as they used to be.
There are also things that sort of rub me the wrong way with Embryonic though. I feel that when you put the most rocking songs together, they sound very similar. Each of those songs are centered around 1 chord or note, which is fine, but I feel that they are actually lacking in original ideas in the songwriting department. Wayne's melodies here are fairly predictable which puts a damper on the songs. And if you are familiar with Can and Pink Floyd, get ready for picking out several examples of rip-offdom. When I look back at Clouds Taste Metallic, In a Priest Driven Ambulance, Hit to Death in the Future Head, I see song after song of completely unique, fresh, sometimes dangerous, exciting, original ideas. This album lacks much of that energy. I love how experimental, schizophrenic, loud, psychedelic, and strange Embryonic can be, but one has to admit it can be a tad bit derivative at times.
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This is gonna be huge!
It's dark and adventurous and may appease the core audience no end, but I doubt it will expand their appeal. It's not very 'accessible' in commercial terms.
Oct 4, 2009 by Orphie |  See all 13 posts
The vinyl sounds better
yes I agree, there is more to explore soundwise on the vinyl. I've only listened to it once and it's definitely more inviting to the ears than the CD, and the blue & yellow vinyl is really cool. The loudness factor is definitely still there which is a big issue for most of the critics of this... Read More
Dec 5, 2009 by John Beacham |  See all 2 posts
mp3 download availability?
Do they do preorders for MP3?

I thought the main reason for preorders is so that you get something in the mail on the release date, or if it's something limited that may run out. Then again, I don't buy MP3's, but buy CD's.

Neither of these are a problem for MP3.
Sep 17, 2009 by tdlansdale |  See all 2 posts
No 5.1mix in the DVD, just hi-res stereo.
From what I've read I think you can only get the fur edition through the Lips store or at shows, but I could be wrong.

Someone has gracefully posted pics. Thanks!

Now I wonder if you must have a special DVD player to utilize DVD Audio, or does it work fully on any DVD player?
Oct 13, 2009 by tdlansdale |  See all 11 posts
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