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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
`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.Read more ›
The album alternates brilliantly between rocking fast numbers, some with frantic drum&bass rhythms, and slower more ambient ones. The lyrics are not totally transparent, but to me they suggest a dark meditation on the illusion of free will and in particular the contradiction between A) a pantheistic sense of being one with Nature and other species and beings, and B) the realization that there is no morality in nature. In what might seem to be a twist on THE MATRIX, the imagery here of "The Machine" from which we seek liberation in Nature might actually *be* Nature, a Vast Amoral System.
This is a dark, wild trip. In the past I found what I had heard of the Flaming Lips to tend toward the precious, poppy, and cutesy. Wayne Coyne's falsetto voice in particular was not appealing. EMBRYONIC explodes out of that mold with a jagged, often dissonant, exhilarating sound!
Without a doubt one of the best albums of 2009 and of the first decade of the New Millennium.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It came brand new as advertised and was on time. Thrilled with it!Published 8 months ago by Christel
Possibly the Lips most ambitious and best album (It's a double album on one CD) that's absolutely a wonder.Published 11 months ago by Steve Z
This album is a perfect example of music that has been labelled "experimental", yet isn't pretentious nonsense. Read morePublished 15 months ago by MusicMusicMusic
There are only a few albums on par with Embryonic, ones that can be played from beginning to end and have a musical feeling be retained throughout. Read morePublished 18 months ago by George True
There wasn't a thought in my mind that this would be the Flaming Lips answer to At War With The Mystics, and it's been on my rotation since 2009: a spectacular album. Read morePublished on June 15, 2014 by Horatio
Anyone hear Bitches Brew in the first few tracks? I find this album was heavily influenced by the Miles Davis classic.Published on May 21, 2014 by Jami Amore
This review is not about the album. I have the cd version and its one of my favorites. The issue i have with this record is the vinyl pressing itself. Read morePublished on March 17, 2014 by Peter J Manchester
"Embryonic" is a weird album. But then again, The Flaming Lips are a band who has made their bread and butter for over two decades by producing some of the quirkiest and most... Read morePublished on February 24, 2014 by Andy