And while that’s true, it discounts the strength the album holds on its own…
And that, along with “Do You Realize,” “She Don’t Use Jelly,” and the Postal Service’s cover of “Suddenly Everything has Changed” were my context for hearing this record.
And I instantly loved it.
The urgent, overdriven drums, the synth strings, the sprinkling harp, the extended instrumental passages, and Wayne Coyne’s shaking, wild-eyed voice that ties everything together. It’s an album of unveiled optimism, young love, friendship, and occasionally drugs (this is the Flaming Lips, isn’t it?) that begs the listener to live and be alive, even in the face of hopelessness.
And fourteen years later, there hasn’t been much to rival moments like the opening strains of “The Race for the Prize” or the instrumental groove in “The Spark that Bled” or the closing crescendo of “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.” It’s an absolute classic, regardless of its context in the Flaming Lips’ or anyone else’s discography.