Embryonic, Embryonic, put your hands all over my body
I have been told many times in my life that I'm a music snob. I disagree (read about why I'm not a music snob, actually, here) but The Flaming Lips are one band that my entire opinion of you hinges on. Put simply, if you don't enjoy any aspect of the Flaming Lips' music- and they've been through many, many line-ups and sounds to choose from- then there are fundamental things that you and I will never agree on, and it's best you leave right now.
However, it's apparently not as simple as that, what with the Lips releasing the dense, wilfully weird album, 'Embryonic' last year. It seems even those who liked the Lips found it difficult to get their heads round the repetitive, blisteringly distorted grooves of "Convinced of the Hex" and "Silver Trembling Hands", though I personally found them thrilling. One criticism often levelled at the album, is simply that it's less pop minded than "At War With The Mystics" or "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots", and the Guardian even called it "career killing". Christ...
So what makes a band release that kind of album? Well you can find out in a very good documentary called "Blastula" that has interviews with the band about the recording process and how the songwriting went. Plus there's juicy studio footage.
You can watch a making of Embryonic, for one week only here on Pitchfork TV. You blatantly should.