New Reviews: Flaming Lips, Bob Dylan and Dead By Sunrise

October 13th, 2009 by Rolling Stone Leave a reply »

After spending the last decade posting the symphonic Soft Bulletin, fighting Pink Robots and waving “The W.A.N.D.,” the Flaming Lips return their acid-soaked roots with their 12th album Embryonic, out today. A double-disc affair of Miles Davis-inspired skronk jazz, sludge riffs and intergalactic electronics, Wayne Coyne and gang are at their most off-the-wall in decades. “Despite tons of studio chaff (five songs are fragments named after zodiac signs), a theme emerges, something about keying into the cosmos by relinquishing control,” Jon Dolan says in his three-star Rolling Stone review. “Hippie hokum? Maybe. But the Lips have always been able to subvert pie-eyed whimsy with a sense of homespun beauty, and there’s plenty of that here too.”

Also this week, Christmas comes early as Bob Dylan’s collection of yuletide greetings, Christmas in the Heart, hits shelves two months before Santa Claus hits chimneys. To anyone expecting Blood on the Snowy Tracks or The Free-Sledding Bob Dylan, this album of Christmas classics might seem like a lump of coal, but Dylan’s take on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and other “Little Drummer Boy” make for nice eggnog companions. Plus, all proceeds go to Feeding America. “Dylan’s singing is often nimble and clear — he goes high in ‘The First Noel’ without a hint of gravel,” David Fricke writes in his three-star review of Christmas in the Heart. “The effect is like a Woodstock snowfall with the defiance of 1970’s Self Portrait: another way of saying his roots are everywhere.”

Two more noteworthy releases are out this week: First, there’s Harper Simon’s eponymous debut album, which earned a three-and-a-half star RS review. Simon’s father Paul (yes, that Paul Simon) co-writes two of the s...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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