Album Review | Psychedelia

The Flaming Lips, ‘The Terror’

It's redundant to call a Flaming Lips album baffling. If someone somewhere isn't being baffled, the band’s not doing its job. But “The Terror’’ goes further: It flat-out confounds. An unbroken miasma of sound, it’s 55 minutes of interstitial music for songs that never arrive. As expansive and wiggy as the group’s last proper album, “Embryonic,” was, its tracks found a traction all but missing here, replaced with the shriek and clang of industrial psychedelia. Considering the pre-release statement about existence after the disappearance of love, the album might be the band’s conception of hell: the swarming, insectoid buzz of “You Are Alone,’’ the angelic choir seeming to descend while remaining ever distant in “Be Free, A Way,’’ the guitar jabs that claw at the ear in “Look . . . The Sun Is Rising,’’ all drowned in a motionless swamp of keyboards. “The Terror’’ is the Flaming Lips without form, and void. They're reportedly working with Ke$ha next. Let there be light. (Out Tuesday)


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