Sunday, June 9, 2013

VOID -- The Flaming Lips -- Review

VOID (2005)
Rating: Um...I'll say 13
"Two scientists were racing / For the good of all mankind"
Best Song: Uhh...Race for the Prize
Worst Song: Mr. Ambulance Driver

       I can see you there sitting on your laptop (or iPad, or phone, or whatever). You're thinking to yourself, "What the heck is VOID?!?". Well, I'll tell you -- it was a collection of the Lips' music videos released in 2005. You continue, "Okay...but this is a music reviewing site, not a video reviewing one. Why are you reviewing a DVD?" to which I'll respond with this -- the DVD is essentially out of print now. So the only way to acquire this collection is via MP3 format on iTunes. Which, if you think about it, makes this into what is essentially the band's only greatest hits compilation. Which, if you think about it, comes in handy for new listeners; it covers everything from Hit to Death up to "Mr. Ambulance Driver", the first single from At War with the Mystics. And since the band made music videos for most of its singles, this is, in essence, a singles collection. Pretty handy, eh?
       So are these singles good? Well duh, most certainly. You've got "Frogs", you've got "Race for the Prize", you've got "Everyone Wants to Live Forever", you've got "Turn It On", you've even got "Be My Head" and "Are You a Hypnotist??"! And of course there's also the usuals like "Do You Realize", "She Don't Use Jelly", and the like. Are there some notable exclusions? Sure, yeah; I would've liked to see "Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles" and "Slow Nerve Action", but eh-- beggars can't be choosers. It works perfectly as a compilation for a new listener, and I would highly reccomend stopping here first thing after Soft Bulletin. Then you could go on to At War, and maybe Clouds, and after that Yoshimi, and then maybe Transmissions, and then Embryonic, and get the idea.

Bonus note of interest to hardcore fans: there are indeed some "rarities" to be found here. For one, there's a dramatic under-arrangement of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" entitled "Phoebe Battles the Pink Robots", which is alright. There's also a decent alternate mix of "Bad Days" and my personal favorite, "SpongeBob and Patrick Confront the Psychic Wall of Energy". Yes, it's silly, and yes, it was made for a children's movie, but the melody, busy arrangement, and wondrous guitar lines more than satisfy my tastes for a good Lips song. A lost classic, I say.

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