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Showing 1-10 of 103 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 455 reviews
on November 14, 2012
I already own the 5.1 surround CD version of this record and I have enjoyed it for many years. I just recently started buying vinyl, so this review is really just about the vinyl in general. Full disclosure: I am by no means an audiophilanthrotopianator (yes, I just made that up) and I have resisted vinyl throughout the entire resurgence simply because I love music, and I never spent any time worrying about the mid-quasar frequency response variance algorithms (also made that up) between MP3, CD, or whatever. I think we can all agree that cassettes need to stay down.

So I finally broke down because another recording came out on vinyl only... it was my only option - sneaky, right? What I have discovered since is that LPs are just a lot of fun. Music is integrated into my life now with the advent of phonep3 players and cloud streaming, and one thing I never realized I missed from my younger days was just the act of sitting down, pulling out a record/cassette/whatever, and having the listening be what was happening, not just the soundtrack to whatever else I was doing.

I think this release really speaks to the fun of listening to music; the red vinyl, the cover art.. everything about it just says "have a good time with this record." It doesn't hurt that the audio quality is really good, too. The only down side is that my cat is strangely attracted to the red vinyl and desperately wants to jump on the record player when its moving. If it gets scratched up from this I will buy another copy. Amazon's packaging is fantastic and new purchases always arrived well-protected and ready to play.
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on December 7, 2010
If The Soft Bulletin was a modern-day Pet Sounds, then this album is a modern-day Dark Side of the Moon. The difference, in my opinion, is that Dark Side of the Moon isn't all that great, while this album is fantastic. I know, I know, I must be crazy for not liking DSotM, but for all of post-Barrett Floyd's studio mastery, I've always felt their songwriting was average at best. In fact, I feel that in most of their concept-heavy albums (particularly DSotM and The Wall) Waters may have actually deliberately used lush soundscapes and philosophical lyrics in attempt to cover up his inferior (compared to Barrett) songwriting skills

But enough about Pink Floyd: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is like DSotM in terms of studio wizardry, except that the songwriting is excellent on every single track. So if you DO love DSotM, you will love this maybe even more! The first four tracks don't really fit the description I just gave, however. Tracks 1 and 3 are pure pop excellence, upbeat jams with fun (but not stupid) lyrics and incredibly catchy hooks, plus some of that signature Flaming Lips quirkiness. Tracks 2 and 4 are similar in style, both focusing on purely-electronic sounds (as opposed to the mix of electronic sounds and filtered instruments from 1 and 3) and VERY skillful drumming. Track 2 is a groovy jam with a slick bassline and very in-the-pocket percussion, with loopy, falsetto-ey lyrics and smooth transitions from major to minor tonality. Track 4 is an instrumental (mostly), actually Part 2 of the title track (track 3 is Part 1). It focuses on the same pallete of sounds from track 2, but used to opposite effect: the synth is angry and glitchy, the drums are absolutely thunderous, cymbal-heavy, and have more elasticity, and the coldly-disconcerting falsetto has been replaced with ferocious female shrieks. It's a wonderful piece.

After track 4 is where the DSotM parallels apply heavily. The first four tunes are really, really great, and I do believe most critics say the album goes downhill afterward, but I would stalwartly disagree. The rest of the album does have less energy, to be sure, but what it loses in catchiness it gains in compositional complexity and (like Pink Floyd) soundscape. Everyone will surely have their own favorites, but I particularly like track 7, "Are You a Hypnotist?" and track 10, "All We Have is Now." The former is veeeeeerry DSotM-esque in terms of mood. It's dark, emotional, and very dense. A particularly good sonic effect is the speed oscillation of one of the backing tracks, creating a warbling sound similar to the music in old VHS tapes. The minor-major shift at the end of the chorus is also incredibly effective. Track 10 probably should have been the closer, and it is excellent. It has a simple ABAB format, with only slight lyrical differences between A parts (2 lines), but three things make this track really stand out. First, there is the melody itself, which is one of the best that the Lips have written, with a lilting rising-and-falling quality. The second is a combination of Coyne's singing (delicate, precise, no vibrato) and the electronic effects laid over it (it seems like the overtones have been diminished, and the overall sound has been compressed and slightly electronic-ized), creating a flat, dry tone that somehow carries a very specific emotion. It's both solemn and blissful, paralleling the dual nature of the song's lyrics (essentially: our time is short, which is sad, but we have Now and Now is beautiful and wonderful). The final thing about this song is the rhythm. Oh my goodness, the rhythm. It's very simple: sparse percussion in part A, a tiny accelerando, and sparse percussion in part B. But that accelerando is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. The actual numerical amount of tempo increase, the speed at which it changes, the way the rest of the song follows it... everything about that little accelerando is marvelously executed and conveys as much emotion and meaning as the whole rest of the album, at least for me.

Okay, I'm done with this review. The tracks I didn't mention are also all great (though the final track REALLY should not be the final track), but I'm not going to discuss them. I talked about the first four because they are pop miracles that EVERYONE will probably love, and since the ones after that are more complex and ambiguous, everyone will probably have different opinions on them, so I just talked about MY favorites. But they're all great, this album is great, and you should buy it right now.
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on March 23, 2012
I am not a big fan of Wayne Coyne's voice. This was a hurtle I could not get over when listening to "The Soft Bulletin". But here, wisely, Wayne's voice is given much needed help by the engineers and studio trickery - and as he has great trouble hitting notes he aims for, this is a great advantage. Indeed, if one watches their appearance on Letterman singing "She Don't Use Jelly" it becomes readily apparent that the man cannot hold certain notes to the point that he sings as though he were tone deaf. Why write a song whose notes are well above your register? Change the key.
This CD is not a trip, it's a vacation. As far as I am concerned there is not a weak song on it, and while the lyrics can be as syrupy saccharine as Michael Stipe's on a bad day, the music is almost ethereal at times. The cover is silly as is the title, but the music is incredible. I am happy that, once again, Amazon reviewers led me in the right direction. I have ordered the "At War with The Mystics" CD and look very much forward to hearing it.
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on May 27, 2017
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on April 22, 2017
great album!
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on June 20, 2017
From beginning to end, it is one of my favorite all-time albums.
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on August 12, 2002
The first time I heard the Flaming Lips occurred while watching the movie "Batman Forever." I thought the use of "Bad Days" was particularly funny in the movie's context, and I bought the soundtrack. Fast forward several years. I hadn't heard anything about the Flaming Lips since I bought the previously mentioned soundtrack, and had pretty much forgotten about them, when, lo and behold, an ad for "Yoshimi" appeared on MTV2. The critical soundbites included were very nice, of course, but I was so amazed by the thirty second snippet of "Do You Realize??" that I immediately purchased the album, despite the fact that it is usually my policy to wait until I hear 2 or 3 complete songs from an album before buying it.
This album was well worth the risk. I love groups that mix pop/rock with electronica (Gorillaz, Garbage, No Doubt's 4th album) but with "Yoshimi," the Flaming Lips add layers of depth one would expect to find in Radiohead or Tool. This gives them the rare ability to entertain on all levels; that is, the pop hooks are catchy enough to work on the level of mainstream pop (though "Do You Realize??" will probably get zero U.S. airplay), but for those who wish to dig deeper, the rewards are great.
All the tracks are very good, with the weakest being the title tracks. I'll admit it, the first time I heard them, I thought they sounded corny and out of place on such an inspired record, and it took several listens to get used to them. The other downside is that it loses some of its grandeur when you aren't in a bittersweet mood. But other than that, this album has no flaws. 4.5 out of five.
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on March 31, 2017
Fantastic album, and sounds great on vinyl!
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on July 28, 2003
"The Soft Bulletin" was my introduction to The Flaming Lips. So, on first listen "Yoshimi...." didn't quite do it for me. It doesn't have the sonic sweep and layered, lush feel of "Soft..." In a sonic sense, it's "smaller." But, when I revisited it a few months later it really hooked me. There's an innocence and optimism that is rare in today's jaded musical environment. And yes, Wayne Coyne can sometimes sneak in some fairly childish rhymes, "She's gotta be strong to fight them/So she's taking lots of vitamins." But I'll give him a pass on that one since the rest shows him and his mates at a new level of maturity.
Although the Robot theme is played out in the first 4 songs, for me it's the closing sequence of "It's Summertime/Do You Realize?/All We Have Is Now/Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon" that really clinched this for me. These songs carry a theme of loss, regret and hope packaged in some of the cleanest, most concise arrangements the Lips have ever done.
And as a final thought....if you ever get the chance to see these guys live....run to get your tickets. Saw them in LA two months ago and they are undoubtedly one of the must see live acts today. I guarantee you won't forget it. Where else will you see a large squirrel, a rabbit, Jesus and Santa Claus grooving on-stage to a whacked out tune like "Lightning Strikes the Postman."
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on December 5, 2013
How did I let a decade pass before discovering this album? I don't know, it's a mystery. I've been waiting for a moment to write a review, but the moment never comes. But now it has, and from now on I will be ego tripping at the gates of hell - if I pass the fight test and prevent the evil robots from eating me, that is. Thank you Flaming Lips for blowing my mind. Wish there were six stars to deliver, but where does the sunshine end and the starlight begin? It's a mystery.
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