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Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

425 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 16, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Do you realize it's summertime? So celebrate the sunshine with the optimisic and philosophical spirit of Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, The Flaming Lips' long-awaited follow-up to 1999's The Soft Bulletin, which topped an avalanche of year-end "best of" lists and helped rank the psychedelic-noise-popsters among the most influential bands in the world (#15 according to NME). "It's storytelling acid rock," say The Flaming Lips, "and will render its listeners powerless to study or analyze it and enable them to sit back and--hopefully for a couple of minutes at a time--just simply be...entertained."

As these dimpled moptops from Oklahoma grow pepper-bearded and transform into wizened elder statesmen of sonic adventuring, the heartfelt candy of their loving bubblegum stretches ever longer into echoing soundscapes. If Radiohead are halfway to becoming U2, the Flaming Lips are nine-tenths of the way to pop nirvana. Hardly a song on Yoshimi isn't resonated, echoed, and reverberated--floating the listener higher until they have the ultimate bird's-eye view of what makes a great band tick. As with any album by the band, it's hard not to imagine parades and a sky filled with helium balloons while you listen to any of it--in this case, the party is enhanced brilliantly by digital filters and silver shimmering asides. The most immediate songs, like "One More Robot (3000-21)," are digital (almost trip-hop) dance numbers that lift the band out of the cornfields and into the loopy land of Björk. Little surprise, then, that the band are already following up this majestic splash of gummy bear brilliance by recording a CD with kids' TV show host Steve from Blue's Clues. It's like Woodstock meets Snoopy! --Ian Christe
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 16, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000068PQ0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,164 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

435 of 461 people found the following review helpful By Ian Aldous on August 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
First Listen: This is the most confounding thing I've ever heard. It's about this metaphorical fight against evil pink robots, for the first four songs. Then it changes direction and all the songs are about death and regret. This isn't as good as The Soft Bulletin. I don't know about this one. I should probably listen to it again.
Second Listen: Well it's better than I initially thought. I really like "Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell." That one got my attention. And that acoustic guitar tweek on "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Part 1) is pretty nifty. But it still seems like the second half of the album is kinda weak. "Do You Realize??" just flat out sounds overdone.
Third Listen: Wow. This is pretty good.
Fourth Listen: This is really, really good. I can't get these songs out of my head. They are so well-crafted. They are beautiful. They are powerful. Wow. I've gotta listen to it again.
Fifth Listen: Nice.
Sixth Listen: "Do You Realize??" is outstanding. But hey, let's face it folks, this album is amazing, from beginning to end.
Seventh Listen: Awesome.
Eighth Listen: Incredible. "I'll get you Yoshimi!"
Ninth Listen: I can't stop listening to this album.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Konczal on October 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I had never heard of the Flaming Lips before hearing "Do You Realize?" late in 2002. I was instantly captivated by the soaring vocals, lush harmonies and orchestrations, and sterling production. But this song did not prepare me for the rich and varied experience of the entire album.
There are pop singles (the catchy yet wistful "Fight Test," the tongue-in-cheek title track), instrumentals (the aggressive "Part II" of the title track and the smooth & mellow, Grammy-winning "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon") and even a prog rock number ("In the Morning of the Magicians") reminiscent of mid-1970's Yes. The range of music on this record is simply astonishing. The pristine production values help the songs flow together and enhance the overall listening experience.
Superficially a concept album about a Japanese girl who battles evil robots, "Yoshimi" is really a meditation about life and death, and the need for mortal humans to seize the moment. In many ways, it's a bookend to Radiohead's "OK Computer." Where Radiohead's brilliant work lamented the dehumanization of mankind and the rise of computers, "Yoshimi" glorifies the humanity in technology ("One more robot starts to feel...") and our ability to overcome machines of our making (shades of "2001: a space odyssey"). The Flaming Lips have given us a profoundly beautiful and optimistic work of art, without forgetting to entertain us. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" is one of the very best recordings of the new century.
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful By mark on January 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Having no knowledge of the Flaming Lips outside of their oddball hit single from years ago in "She Don't Use Jelly" I had no idea what to expect from this record when reading of it's critical acclaims. What I ended up getting was one of the most surprising, fulfilling albums I've come across to date. It's a neo-psychedelic pop masterwork that is even more rewarding in the long run than the short. What appears to be a loose concept record about a young girl, Yoshimi, and her battle against those "evil" robots as their called in the mesmerizing track "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1" is in the end quite touching thanks to the very sincere, solid lyrics of lead Lip Wayne Coyne. "Do You Realize??" ends up being possibly the best single of the year with it's hypnotic acoustic guitar underlay and touching lyrics. Each song is highlighted by an airy touch of electronic nuances that give the album a robotic feel, but still a very human one. I really can't say enough about how surprised I was at the brilliance of this album and each further Lips release will be very much anticipated.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Evans on July 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I stumbled upon the Flaming Lips live at the Leeds festival in the UK three years ago. They were promoting the release of their new album, 'The Soft Bulletin', and were breathtakingly magnificent. I had never even heard of them before I saw that beautiful act, but as soon as I had I resolved to buy their album as soon as possible. I was pleased to find it utterly wonderful. Imagine my joy when I found that their new album, 'Yoshimi...' was even greater, having purchased it ahead of release date using shady contacts in the record store industry...
Full of swooning pop melodies conducted in bizarre ways; 'Yoshimi' sounds like the number one album from an alternative universe. This album is brimming with sunlight and beauty. It is also an album about death and resignation, hope and living life to the full. 'Yoshimi' takes the idea of an eccentric Japanese girl fighting killer robots and uses it as an alegory for coping with the mortality of loved ones. Wayne Coyne somehow takes a strange manga fantasy and runs with it through the album, sculpting it into a plea for you to enjoy your time with people you see as vunerable and on the cusp of death and to make their life full by living life with them as if in ignorance to their mortality. Not only that but it also concerns the mortality of the listner, emphasising the need to enjoy the benefits of life and nature rather than worry about the spectre of death. The Flaming Lips convey this in format that sounds akin to The Beach Boys meets Neil Young, Autechre, Kraftwerk, Radiohead, 50's pop, Beatles, New Order... practically anybody who had a strange yet instinctive knowledge of pop.
Which is basically what Wayne and his two mates have. An almost uncanny concept of what makes pure pop.
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Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
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