The test begins…. now! Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots was a huge leap for The Flaming Lips, initially known for slacker rock singalongs like “She Don’t Use Jelly” before moving into grandiose, over-budget, high-concept self-flagellation (Zaireeka), eventually hitting their stride on the acclaimed and atmospheric Soft Bulletin. The Lips delve deeper into this experimental zone on Yoshimi, with the studio as their main instrument, basically just throwing shit against the wall and seeing what sticks. The result is a multi-faceted record that was easily a decade before its time, lacing their trademark psych arrangements with elements of ambient (“Sympathy 3000-21”), blunted hip-hop (“Yoshimi” part 1 & 2), dreampop (“In The Morning Of The Magicians”), krautrock (“All We Have Is Now,” “Approaching Pavonis Moons”) and downtempo (“Are You A Hypnotist?”, “Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell,” “One More Robot”). On what is described as a very loose concept album, Lips mastermind Wayne Coyne manages to touch on some very legit and relatable topics, musing philosophically on adulthood and mortality with lines like “I don't know how a man decides what is right for his own life, it's all a mystery” and “do you realize that everyone you know someday will die,” all under the veil of the ridiculous spectacle that loosely connects the tracks: a tiny Japanese woman facing off against giant pink robots. Alongside Kid A, Yoshimi stands as one of the most progressive and inventive “rock” records of the 00s, fleshed out with synthesizers, sampling, Moog basslines (long before it was de riguer) and spacey atmosphere, which is brought back to earth by Coyne’s raspy Oklahama warbling. Recommended!
- black vinyl pressing
- full color printed insert
- original release year: 2002
- music label: Warner Bros 2019
reviewed by mayor of hounslow 10/2017