User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 143 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 143

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  1. Feb 7, 2013
    10
    This album is an overlooked masterpiece. It has the sort of kookiness the Flaming Lips can boast about while mixing in deeper, more melodic songs. "Mr. Ambulance driver" is a fantastically emotional song while "W.A.N.D." is an electric anthem of empowerment. The opening track is odd, but completely wonderful. There's a lot of atmosphere on this album and some people might find the lullsThis album is an overlooked masterpiece. It has the sort of kookiness the Flaming Lips can boast about while mixing in deeper, more melodic songs. "Mr. Ambulance driver" is a fantastically emotional song while "W.A.N.D." is an electric anthem of empowerment. The opening track is odd, but completely wonderful. There's a lot of atmosphere on this album and some people might find the lulls unpleasant, but when looked at as a whole and not just a collection of songs it's hard not to reflect on the beauty of it all. Expand
  2. Mike
    Nov 7, 2006
    3
    A serious decline from Yoshimi. Sincerity is really missing from this record, and that is not a good thing since that is a Flaming Lips strength. The production feels very bland, and the melodies are very poor (another Flaming Lips strength that doesn't appear on this record). This album is like a Radiohead album. It sounds ok the first few listens, but then you realize it's A serious decline from Yoshimi. Sincerity is really missing from this record, and that is not a good thing since that is a Flaming Lips strength. The production feels very bland, and the melodies are very poor (another Flaming Lips strength that doesn't appear on this record). This album is like a Radiohead album. It sounds ok the first few listens, but then you realize it's just "experimental" music that is really just borrowed from Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd it is not. What happened to the genius Lips that created the Soft Bulletin, Transmissions from the Satellite Heart and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots? I can't think of finer rock records. Hopefully the get back in the studio ASAP. Expand
  3. AlanK
    Jun 16, 2006
    5
    On the surface the album seems to be inspired genius. The more I listened to it the less I liked it; to the point where I can't even listen to the songs on the radio any more. I can imagine the band sitting around waiting for their fans and the critics to realize they're just a fraud. Much like Pink Floyd, their appearance as musical genius wears off quickly to expose gimicky On the surface the album seems to be inspired genius. The more I listened to it the less I liked it; to the point where I can't even listen to the songs on the radio any more. I can imagine the band sitting around waiting for their fans and the critics to realize they're just a fraud. Much like Pink Floyd, their appearance as musical genius wears off quickly to expose gimicky music with decent hooks. Expand
  4. bolisj
    Oct 3, 2006
    7
    A bad Lips album is still OK by many other standards, but just as Yoshimi was a step down from The Soft Bulletin, this is a further drop in standards... and yet it could have been much better... the basics are there alright, but those annoying, innane, occasionally even embarrassing, little chirps and yeahs etc really started to get on my nerves after a few listens. I have pretty much A bad Lips album is still OK by many other standards, but just as Yoshimi was a step down from The Soft Bulletin, this is a further drop in standards... and yet it could have been much better... the basics are there alright, but those annoying, innane, occasionally even embarrassing, little chirps and yeahs etc really started to get on my nerves after a few listens. I have pretty much everything they've ever done, so I can appreciate and applaud the fact that they're not standing still musically (compare Hit To Death.. with this for example!), but this makes me wonder if it's time to start thinking about hangin' up them old guitars. Expand
  5. AliMcQ
    Apr 5, 2006
    7
    Odd one. Musically very different to Yoshimi and Soft bulletin. The melodies and song progression, the scale, the emotion just aren't there, replaced with a lot of kooky falsetto stuff, highly producted feel. Reminded me of Scissor Sisters a bit. You can't really compare it to anything else easily tho - there is a huge variety of sounds and styles, none of them very much like Odd one. Musically very different to Yoshimi and Soft bulletin. The melodies and song progression, the scale, the emotion just aren't there, replaced with a lot of kooky falsetto stuff, highly producted feel. Reminded me of Scissor Sisters a bit. You can't really compare it to anything else easily tho - there is a huge variety of sounds and styles, none of them very much like their previous 2 records... Still its not too bad taking it for what it is... I've only had it 2 days. First listen I was dissappointed, but after a few listens it's growing on me. Expand
  6. LucySD
    Apr 5, 2006
    2
    pretend music made for the trendy drug users of this generation. not very good though, only a couple of stand out songs, the rest is just boring. very disappointing, compared to their last two albums
  7. matsl
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    i think this album is fantastic! they mix the cool 70's rock sound with more modern electronica. the lyrics are also great, playful but serious.
  8. MikeK
    Apr 13, 2006
    6
    I'm a huge Lips fan and have been awaiting this album since the day after Yoshimi was released. I gotta say, I'm dissapointed. Strange when an album doesn't really get going until halfway through, stranger still when there isn't one track that really stands out. As an album, I guess it holds together, but the individual songs just aren't that great. I don't I'm a huge Lips fan and have been awaiting this album since the day after Yoshimi was released. I gotta say, I'm dissapointed. Strange when an album doesn't really get going until halfway through, stranger still when there isn't one track that really stands out. As an album, I guess it holds together, but the individual songs just aren't that great. I don't know, I find it kinda boring. Also, where before the sound effects were used to heighten a song, I feel they're put in place here just to sound wonky and diffrerent. Wayne's voice also sounds a bit tired. I want to like it and maybe it will grow on me, but it shouldn't have to. I loved their prior two albums on first listen and just loved them more each time. There was no effort involved and contrary to what other posters say, that's what makes a great album. If you have to listen over and over to find something you like, then the band didn't do their job. Expand
  9. JonnyFreshNone
    Apr 29, 2006
    1
    This album is the sound of Pro-Tools coming alive, and being able to catch and eat the Flaming Lips band members because they were tired and just sitting in the control room. Lots of effects. No melodies. Poor lyrics. Tired sounding singing. Flat production and engineering on the drums. A flat, dying-goose sound for a guitar on almost every track. Forgotten .wav files in Pro Tools tacked This album is the sound of Pro-Tools coming alive, and being able to catch and eat the Flaming Lips band members because they were tired and just sitting in the control room. Lots of effects. No melodies. Poor lyrics. Tired sounding singing. Flat production and engineering on the drums. A flat, dying-goose sound for a guitar on almost every track. Forgotten .wav files in Pro Tools tacked on the end of songs. Four years for this? Are the Lips even a rock band anymore, or a corporation? As Wayne says on one of the worst Flaming Lips songs ever made ( Haven't Got a Clue): " Oh, Come on". Expand
  10. jamesw
    Apr 4, 2006
    6
    Sadly after such a long love affair, me and the Flips seem to be parting company. I know it's common for lovers to move in directions that slowly decrease the points of intersection, and that's okay ... it's nobody's fault, it just is. And I need NOISE. Not the sterile laboratory variety or keyboards and computers, but the earthy, tactile racket of guitars tortued by Sadly after such a long love affair, me and the Flips seem to be parting company. I know it's common for lovers to move in directions that slowly decrease the points of intersection, and that's okay ... it's nobody's fault, it just is. And I need NOISE. Not the sterile laboratory variety or keyboards and computers, but the earthy, tactile racket of guitars tortued by warm, humming electronics. Come Back Ronald Jones ... Please Come Back .... your friends need you. And it's sad you couldn't embrace it, but your fans loved you. Expand
  11. ElliottM
    Apr 4, 2006
    4
    Unbelievably disappointing. The best songs are saved for the end of the album and it's almost not even worth it to get there.
  12. mikes
    Apr 5, 2006
    6
    A disappointment after releasing the masterpiece "yoshimi battles the pink robots". Their most experimental work since Zaireeka and the songwriting on this album is not good, average at best. Political and uninspiring, however; production is fresh, but not as polished as yoshimi; defiinitely a step backwards for them.
  13. RH
    Apr 5, 2006
    10
    Only The Soft Bulletin is a stronger album than this collection, which is a nice group of songs that manage to gel together well, despite not having anything in common. It's one of those albums that displays everything an artist does best.
  14. JohnS
    Apr 5, 2006
    5
    Very average.
  15. MarkO
    Apr 6, 2006
    2
    Mediocre garbage. Are there actually any songs on this record? The first two tracks strive to grab a top 40 crowd but I think even they would recognize how shallow and empty these songs are. The rest are a more sedate and boring act of self indulgancy. A major disappointment.
  16. JasonB
    Apr 7, 2006
    5
    I really wanted to like this album...but it just seemed like a hodgepodge of crappy songs. It sounds like the flaming lips but it is just not very good.
  17. DanB.
    Apr 7, 2006
    7
    I dunno man, I can see why some long time fans might be less than thrilled with this, but I have not heard much of their old stuff and I really like this. I realize some of the tracks aren't the strongest songs, like if you played them acoustic there'd be very little there. But. I still really did it. Like I looooooove the track Pompeii am Gotterwhatever. The lyrics and the I dunno man, I can see why some long time fans might be less than thrilled with this, but I have not heard much of their old stuff and I really like this. I realize some of the tracks aren't the strongest songs, like if you played them acoustic there'd be very little there. But. I still really did it. Like I looooooove the track Pompeii am Gotterwhatever. The lyrics and the music. And Yeah Yeah Yeah song, I don't think it's shallow. I think it's too catchy for its own good--like I binge listened to it 100 times and now I'm slightly sick of it. Anyway, it's a cool album, even if it's not super capital G Great. Expand
  18. RickW
    May 10, 2006
    8
    A fantastic album. I only bought after hearing it the last 8 times i went to my record shop (I dont think they've stopped playing it since it came out!) and it kept growing on me. 'Havent got a clue' is a fantastic tune.
  19. BenW
    Jun 8, 2006
    9
    Incredible album......beyond the 70's throwbacks is the psychedelic trip that we have come to know and love from this band. I am actually enjoying this album more than Yoshimi. First listen maybe a 7/10, then the depth and quality of each track just keeps on growing to form what ultimately develops into the perfect album - the natural progresssion they just had to write.
  20. DamonT
    Apr 23, 2007
    8
    Mostly, a very enjoyable album.
  21. Tom
    Oct 30, 2006
    4
    All over the place - in a bad way. I remember reading that Wayne said the band was "getting back to their roots" or something like that before the album came out and that's always a worrisome thing - whenever bands seem to feel the need to "get back to roots" it usually means they're lost, and that's what this album sounds like, a band lost with no idea where to go. Sure, All over the place - in a bad way. I remember reading that Wayne said the band was "getting back to their roots" or something like that before the album came out and that's always a worrisome thing - whenever bands seem to feel the need to "get back to roots" it usually means they're lost, and that's what this album sounds like, a band lost with no idea where to go. Sure, there are some good songs here, but there are an unfortunate number of go-nowhere songs that drag down the forward progression. Even more unfortunately, superior material is to be found in the outtakes of this album on singles and now on the 5.1 reissue - yes, it's actually worth buying to get those tracks in one place. Mystics was definitely my biggest disappointment of the year. Expand
  22. JeffQ
    Apr 11, 2006
    6
    I gate to assign this a number, because often the best music takes some time to get into. And the Flaming Lips are a special case. That said, this record doesn't seem to be very connected. They are some fresh new sounds here and there, but enough of their (admittedly very unique) formula that is starting to sound not so inspired. And some songs just seems to be doodles. Without the I gate to assign this a number, because often the best music takes some time to get into. And the Flaming Lips are a special case. That said, this record doesn't seem to be very connected. They are some fresh new sounds here and there, but enough of their (admittedly very unique) formula that is starting to sound not so inspired. And some songs just seems to be doodles. Without the sweet and strange thematic strang of Yoshimi, this all seems kind of pointless and not nearly as charming as I was expecting. I hope these songs will prove to contain pearls not immediately apparent, because the Lips at their best were amazing. "Truly stunning and life affiirming" someone else wrote, and I agree the band is all that in other places. But I'm just not hearing it yet on this record and going to have to sit with it for a while. Expand
  23. GlennD
    Apr 11, 2006
    8
    Future releases of this CD, may boast of "omitted material" rather than "bonus material". Leave off the trite "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Song" and this is 10/10 material.
  24. lewist
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    I don't know what some people here are talking about "self indulgent". IMO, the Flaming Lips have managed to equal up to their expected, after Yoshimi. Some upbeats and some slower songs give the Album more character and make it more interesting - and they have still maintained their 'nice' conventions - even if this album is slightly more aggresive.
  25. JoeH
    Apr 17, 2006
    8
    Certainly better the more times you listen to it - also better with close listening. Surprising how simple they sound with all the bells and whistles. Still, there are a couple of songs I'll probably be skipping through after awhile.
  26. StevenL
    Apr 17, 2006
    3
    Color me disappointed.
  27. BradP
    Apr 24, 2006
    8
    Not "Soft Bulletin", but what is? After my first listen, it was a 5. Then after another, it made it up to 6, and now stands at about 8. It covers a familiar arc, not unlike Yoshimi - morality, simple facts of life/death, selflessness - these topics are handled in usual Lips' fashion, with a racousness that belies the underlying sweetness. Yes, these are guys you would want to hang Not "Soft Bulletin", but what is? After my first listen, it was a 5. Then after another, it made it up to 6, and now stands at about 8. It covers a familiar arc, not unlike Yoshimi - morality, simple facts of life/death, selflessness - these topics are handled in usual Lips' fashion, with a racousness that belies the underlying sweetness. Yes, these are guys you would want to hang out with and have over for dinner. They would treat you nicely and play with your kids. And there would be stories to tell... The upshot of my review is: give it a few spins. It gets better and may ultimately rate up there with Yoshimi. The Lips are an endlessly creative bunch. Expand
  28. coy
    Apr 3, 2006
    10
    Best Flamin Lips record, defnitely! Even bether than Soft Bulletin.
  29. CasperM
    Apr 3, 2006
    9
    8.5, through and through. Tis is vintage Lips!
  30. BobS
    Apr 3, 2006
    9
    `tis a groovy album, ci senor?
  31. JoshC
    Apr 4, 2006
    8
    I love WAYNE....This album is completely different then there last two...It took a couple of listens to really fall in love with this album, but she keeps growing on me...I don't know by next week I might say this album is a TEN!!! Again I love WAYNE!!
  32. matta
    Apr 4, 2006
    8
    Now, even a mediocre lips album is pretty great, but people like coy and other giving a 10 are just kidding themselves. Yoshimi could afford filler because it had six or seven of the most gorgeous songs I have ever heard on it, but this album doesn't have that luxury, so throwaway tracks like "wizard" and "pompeii" just seem like a waste. Still, we do have some serious lips classics Now, even a mediocre lips album is pretty great, but people like coy and other giving a 10 are just kidding themselves. Yoshimi could afford filler because it had six or seven of the most gorgeous songs I have ever heard on it, but this album doesn't have that luxury, so throwaway tracks like "wizard" and "pompeii" just seem like a waste. Still, we do have some serious lips classics here (Free Radicals, The Sound of Failure, Mr. Ambulance Driver, Haven't Got A Clue, and Goin On), and these moments salvage the album, in fact, they make it worth your money. Expand
  33. JonR
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    Though it's not absolutely perfect this album lacks any real weak points, just a few rather uninteresting ones mainly thanks to their fantastic company. It's nice to hear that they've ditched the drum samples that plagued Yoshimi though, Steve really is too great a drummer (one of my favorites) to do that for a whole album... But that's a whole different issue. At War Though it's not absolutely perfect this album lacks any real weak points, just a few rather uninteresting ones mainly thanks to their fantastic company. It's nice to hear that they've ditched the drum samples that plagued Yoshimi though, Steve really is too great a drummer (one of my favorites) to do that for a whole album... But that's a whole different issue. At War With the Mystics has turned me from being vaguely interested in the Lips to a true fan. A fantastic album to be sure, instant classic even and like the Soft Bulletin one I'll be listening to for years to come. I'd give a 93/100 or so which rounds to "9" so there you have it. Expand
  34. JohnD
    Apr 4, 2006
    6
    has some fun songs, but a ho-hum record for a great band like the lips.
  35. KellyM
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    The next step in the evolution of The Lips. Recognizing the past while taking a step towards the future. Did I happen to mention it sounds incredible? I can't wait to see "Pompeii AM Gotterdammerung" performed live.
  36. SpencerM
    Apr 4, 2006
    7
    A strong effort by the band. Reminiscent of Yoshimi and the Soft Bulletin, while not quite achiving the grandioseness of either, the Flaming Lips have changed their sound here in a positive matter-- less keys, more riffs and vocal manipulations. If they'd stuck to the same formula, the result would've been terrible. I also appreciate the politics of this band, so I'm going A strong effort by the band. Reminiscent of Yoshimi and the Soft Bulletin, while not quite achiving the grandioseness of either, the Flaming Lips have changed their sound here in a positive matter-- less keys, more riffs and vocal manipulations. If they'd stuck to the same formula, the result would've been terrible. I also appreciate the politics of this band, so I'm going to support this album through and through. Collapse
  37. ChrisC
    Apr 5, 2006
    8
    This album has a lot of great tracks on it. But nothing as great as the best from their two previous albums, and it has little or no musical focus.
  38. ChrisJ
    Apr 5, 2006
    7
    "The Wand" had me salivating at the thought of a Transmissions era sounding album. Unfortunately, this album seems a little slight in the center. I'd have liked to hear the album start off strong with "The Wand", "Pompeii..." and "Goin' On" and continue on the tangent that the last three songs started. I still can't fault Wayne and co. on a lackluster attempt, they've "The Wand" had me salivating at the thought of a Transmissions era sounding album. Unfortunately, this album seems a little slight in the center. I'd have liked to hear the album start off strong with "The Wand", "Pompeii..." and "Goin' On" and continue on the tangent that the last three songs started. I still can't fault Wayne and co. on a lackluster attempt, they've given us a few of the greatest albums of the last ten years. Expand
  39. DaveC
    Apr 5, 2006
    3
    very disappointing after their last 2 albums - where did the melodies go??
  40. admirals
    Apr 5, 2006
    3
    Those who rated this album 8, 9, or 10 must be crazy!! The only reason this album is worth listening to at least once is because it is The Flaming Lips. If this was made by some other unknown band, it would be panned. I would expect this to be widely available in the second-hand bins of your local record shop in the very near future!!!
  41. JP
    Apr 5, 2006
    2
    very disappointing effort... maybe next time, eh?
  42. AliM
    Apr 6, 2006
    9
    Awesome, mind-blowing. This album goes from pure pop in the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song to deranged funk in Free Radicals and It Overtakes Me to electro-prog in The W.A.N.D. and Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung. It's not for everyone, but I've got the feeling that this album will own my summer.
  43. MichaelJ
    Apr 6, 2006
    9
    got a feeling this album will prove itself over time to be a bit of a classic
  44. tomz
    Apr 6, 2006
    5
    eh. i want to like this album, but i don't really. cool sound, no real songs...i can't imagine any of these tracks stripped down to just a voice and guitar/keyboard, which is one measure of a well written song. it's not the only method, but most lips songs previous to this record can be stripped down and still be great. it just seems like most of these songs were "built" eh. i want to like this album, but i don't really. cool sound, no real songs...i can't imagine any of these tracks stripped down to just a voice and guitar/keyboard, which is one measure of a well written song. it's not the only method, but most lips songs previous to this record can be stripped down and still be great. it just seems like most of these songs were "built" rather than written. that said, there's a lot of sounds here, many of them really cool. maybe they need to take a break, they have been insanely busy since soft bulletin kicked all our asses. imagine this sound with some great songs... Expand
  45. Mr.FrankOK
    Apr 7, 2006
    10
    This is exactly how the Flaming Lips should sound during this stage of their career, mature but experimental. This album now shares a permanent spot in my happy brain. Yummers, just complete Yummers. If "The Sound of Failure" doesn't move you, then you aren't me. I'm slightly better.
  46. ScottW
    Apr 7, 2006
    5
    The band seemed to be progressing with every new album, but this one seems to take a step back.
  47. db
    Apr 8, 2006
    8
    Do you realize what a wonderful world, my cosmic autumn rebellion is? OK I'll admit that I don't really understand. Buggin' a machine in India over the rainbow claims your bad days will end. But evil will prevail and lucifer's rising. Be my head Mr. Ambulance driver. I know a spoonful weighs a ton but don't be ego tripping at the gates of hell. Well it's Do you realize what a wonderful world, my cosmic autumn rebellion is? OK I'll admit that I don't really understand. Buggin' a machine in India over the rainbow claims your bad days will end. But evil will prevail and lucifer's rising. Be my head Mr. Ambulance driver. I know a spoonful weighs a ton but don't be ego tripping at the gates of hell. Well it's summertime in the morning of magicians. How will we know? When lightning strikes the postman and the switch that turns off the universe caused the gash & the spark that bled. So shine on sweet Jesus as we are waitin' for a superman. Superhumans up above the daily hum with thirty-five thousand feet of despair, the wizard turns on. She don't use jelly but prefers the WAND. How will we know that suddenly everything has changed? You'll be feeling yourself disintegrate while slow nerve action will make a spoonful weigh a ton. When yer twenty two you've got to hold on. You see, we can't predict the future but the sound of failure has caused the assassination of the sun. So this is your fight test. Yeah, yeah, yeah! So race for the prize, the big ol' bug is the new baby now. Expand
  48. gman
    Apr 8, 2006
    9
    I was unsure about this at first but I really should've known better. It takes a few listens to make sense (but the best music does). Whether it's as great as Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi is open to debate but ultimately irrelevant. As is stands it's a great album in it's own right and yet another stunning example of the Lips' genius. This is probably the sort of I was unsure about this at first but I really should've known better. It takes a few listens to make sense (but the best music does). Whether it's as great as Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi is open to debate but ultimately irrelevant. As is stands it's a great album in it's own right and yet another stunning example of the Lips' genius. This is probably the sort of thing Gram Parsons was hoping for when he talked about 'Cosmic American Music'. Expand
  49. Brendan
    Jun 8, 2006
    9
    While this is definitely not the best of the Lips' work, I don't have a clue how people can be so unimpressed by tracks like "My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion," which is a glorious cacophany in the vein of "Riding to Work in the Year 2025." Any Pink Floyd fans out there should be taken by "Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung" and the second half of "It Overtakes Me," both of which are lifted While this is definitely not the best of the Lips' work, I don't have a clue how people can be so unimpressed by tracks like "My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion," which is a glorious cacophany in the vein of "Riding to Work in the Year 2025." Any Pink Floyd fans out there should be taken by "Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung" and the second half of "It Overtakes Me," both of which are lifted almost directly from the Floyd's "Meddle" record. "Mystics" also combines the 3-D effect of "Zaireeka" with the sheen production of the last two records AND the heavy, guitar-driven edge of the early, punkier Lips (think "Oh My Gawd"-era). Excepting the rather tuneless "Haven't Got a Clue," the album is genius. Expand
  50. Landon__
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    Masterpiece with political undertones. Their best albumt o date
  51. johnT.
    Aug 2, 2007
    10
    Only once I gave this a chance did I realize the amazing complexity and possibility of this album. This is an album where you can listen to it a hundred times and discover something new each time. "It over takes me" is an epic in itself.
  52. TomP
    Feb 2, 2008
    8
    Mike, you're an idiot. Radiohead is, I'm sorry, a better band than The Flaming Lips, and their stuff, or anything on this album, is not taken from Pink Floyd, mabye inspired by them, but have you ever even listened to them, or are you just plain ignorant? Anyways, this is still an entertaining listen, if not as enjoyable as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots or The Soft Bulletin.
  53. romanmc
    Apr 11, 2006
    6
    I'm not so sure about there being no songs that are great stripped down to an acoustic (Track 3 ranks up there). Most of the album ranks with Bulletin and Yoshimi. The problem is that there are 3 songs that are really freaking bad (YYY Song, It Overtakes Me and The 'Punch you in the face' Song). Maybe in time I can get past them but they just grate right now.
  54. Mack
    Apr 11, 2006
    10
    This album is great. It's diverse, experimental, fun, and it seems to encompass the perfect mix of new ideas with just enough accessibility. To quote from below: "...i can't imagine any of these tracks stripped down to just a voice and guitar/keyboard, which is one measure of a well written song..." - tom z. What? Maybe that's due to a lack of imagination on your part. This album is great. It's diverse, experimental, fun, and it seems to encompass the perfect mix of new ideas with just enough accessibility. To quote from below: "...i can't imagine any of these tracks stripped down to just a voice and guitar/keyboard, which is one measure of a well written song..." - tom z. What? Maybe that's due to a lack of imagination on your part. First of all, stripping a song down isn't necessarily a measure of a song - and sometimes that task just takes a little imagination. Consider that John Mayer covered Radiohead's song "Kid A". Not exactly an acoustic-strummer on first listen. Anyway, most of the poor reviews of this album are probably due to the new fans of the group expect another Yoshimi - especially the accessibility of that album. That one was great, but a band as original as the Flaming Lips face a catch-22 with their subsequent releases. If they don't experiment and simply remain static, they'll surely make some fans happy (and possibly score some radio hits) but the critics will bash them for staying complacent. If they experiment, then many fans will be polarized by the new sounds, but the band at least gets to flex their creative minds. So, to me, it's great, and I don't want the Lips to ever stay the same - every album seems like a discovery, which is wonderful. Expand
  55. Jack-
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    Awesome.
  56. Fred
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    I liked this album a lot. The music took a while to grow on me but after listening to it a few times I loved it. Its not as good as the rest of the albums. But definatly worth buying.
  57. EdwinS
    Apr 11, 2006
    4
    this album has some really interesting musical compositions and crazy sounds. unfortunately almost every song is a choppy congolmeration of unfinished ideas, both musically and lyrically. the yeah yeah yeah song attempts a creative structure, but the repeated phrase has no connection to the rest of the song, and ends up being a confusing interruption that must be endured an alarming this album has some really interesting musical compositions and crazy sounds. unfortunately almost every song is a choppy congolmeration of unfinished ideas, both musically and lyrically. the yeah yeah yeah song attempts a creative structure, but the repeated phrase has no connection to the rest of the song, and ends up being a confusing interruption that must be endured an alarming number of times. and yet, at the beginning of the song, this portion begins to develop a promising melody, only to be stopped by the annoying seventh-grade rhetorical questions.making up the verses. from there, things go downhill with free radicals. while songs addressing the listener have worked well for the lips in the past, here they are so vague that there is really nothing to grasp onto. the lyrics are confoundingly bad here - the rhymes in the chorus are actually "radical/radical/fanatical/fanatical". lines like, "i'll tell you right now" expose a "do you want to know? i'll tell you. ok, ready? i'm going to say it..." vibe that shows the lips really don't have anything to say here. the rest of the album slowly recedes into spacey oblivion, even after careful examination. the real difference between this album and their great ones is that where they were too excited to contain themselves before, playing without regard to their audience's situation, they're too concerned with who's listening now. but in getting our attention, they ran out of time to say whatever they might have wanted to say in the first place. Expand
  58. [Anonymous]
    Apr 12, 2006
    10
    Classic Number 3
  59. mikaell
    Apr 12, 2006
    10
    i think this album is a very good continuation of their previous work. you never know what those guys will do, they'll suprise you everytime with new fantastic material. i don't understand why this album received so poor reviews - i think it's one of their best albums yet!
  60. DanM
    Apr 13, 2006
    10
    Lips fans who gave this album low scores need to listen to it more. After the first two spins I would have rated it maybe a 6. But after a few days now it's right up there. Brilliant!
  61. NickS
    Apr 13, 2006
    9
    this, unlike most lips albums, takes a good deal of listens to get into. albums like yoshimi and soft bullitin jump out at you as being amazing, where as at war with the mysitics takes some time to get used to the new sound of the lips. after getting use to it i started to realize how great these songs are. so if you dont like it give it another try
  62. mykles
    Apr 13, 2006
    9
    ok, so the lips could have gone in one of two directions with this album: rehashing the same sound they've beaten to death over the last 2 albums or doing something completely different. one direction meant a safe album full of mr. ambulance nonsense and the other direction meant an experimental effort. it's not a flawless album, but at least it takes chances.
  63. RandyM
    Apr 15, 2006
    9
    It's another brilliant album by the Flaming Lips. A lot of people who are dissing it are fans who are unfairly comparing it to the previous albums. These are superficial, knee-jerk reactions. This album will stand the test of time, it's brilliant.
  64. TimD
    Apr 24, 2006
    7
    I'm still umming and erring over this album like a small boy taken to an ice cream van by his doting mother. I went to see the lips on saturday (still the best show in the world) and discovered that the songs i didn't like on the album (Free Radicals, Vein opf Stars) actually made sense... Those i did however (The W.A.N.D, The Yeah Yeah Yeah song) sounded really sloppy and I'm still umming and erring over this album like a small boy taken to an ice cream van by his doting mother. I went to see the lips on saturday (still the best show in the world) and discovered that the songs i didn't like on the album (Free Radicals, Vein opf Stars) actually made sense... Those i did however (The W.A.N.D, The Yeah Yeah Yeah song) sounded really sloppy and incoherent. And thus my quest goes on. There are sublime moments, and my tenner was justified as soon as i heard the first thirty seconds of my cosmic autumn rebellion. It's just we've come to expect a little bit more... Expand
  65. DanF
    Apr 24, 2006
    8
    I absolutely love half of this album, but the other half doesn't quite measure up (half of it is a 10, the other half a 6...hence 8). I'm certainly not disappointed, but not blown away either. I also wish it was more cohesive like Yoshimi and Bulletin were. It starts off with two awesome, upbeat songs, and then goes to three straight ballads...which loses me before it picks up I absolutely love half of this album, but the other half doesn't quite measure up (half of it is a 10, the other half a 6...hence 8). I'm certainly not disappointed, but not blown away either. I also wish it was more cohesive like Yoshimi and Bulletin were. It starts off with two awesome, upbeat songs, and then goes to three straight ballads...which loses me before it picks up again. If this were from other band than the Lips though, it would have blown me away, so overall still a great album Expand
  66. PeggyM
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    This album is amazing and will make you weep a euphoric weep.
  67. AaronQ
    Apr 28, 2006
    9
    Not "The Soft Bulletin," not even close... but still a complete mindjob. Definitely gets better and better with every listen. The most enjoyable totally out there album since "Soft Bulletin."
  68. RyanG
    Apr 29, 2006
    10
    This the album that, like The Wall, but not The Wall, all the critics who hit their thirties in the past few decades will never fully appreciate but in time will have it's place atop those life defining top ten lists for anyone who has yet to leave their younger days behind and take life to be more serious than it actually is.
  69. MikeH
    Apr 3, 2006
    8
    I love the band and it's pretty good. Doesn't quite measure up to the mighty soft bulletin though.
  70. DerekM.
    Apr 3, 2006
    9
    Yes, somewhat derivative of 'Yoshimi', but spectacular nonetheless.
  71. dbriel
    Apr 3, 2006
    7
    It is always good to hear the Lips & there are some really good moments here and a couple of awkward arrangements/lyrics as well. Maybe the overtly political tone will weed out the poseur yuppie tool contingency that has affixed to the lips in recent years.
  72. MelS
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    The Flaming Lips continue on with another brilliant album about space, politics, life, death and weird silliness. Don't listen to the mixed reviews, it's great.
  73. KurtCobain
    Apr 4, 2006
    5
    Pretty much shit. What happened d00ds?
  74. BlayzeH
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    No emotional grasp to the songs like Soft Bulletin had, but typical Wayne Coyne brilliance, so it was given a high rating.
  75. DamianM
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    The early records- 7.5 Transmissions- 9 Clouds- 10 Zaireeka- 9 TSB- 10 Yoshimi- 9 AWWTM- 9 Another masterpiece to add to the collection. Some people try too hard with reviews, don't they?
  76. Matt
    Apr 4, 2006
    6
    "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" is so goofy in an amusing way that I love it. I also like the next two songs. But after that, this album loses steam.
  77. JackL
    Apr 4, 2006
    9
    After the success of Yoshimi, it's refreshing to hear this band continue to change their style instead of pulling a Nickelback and releasing the same record over and over. This CD takes the energy and guitar-centric sound of albums like Clouds Taste Metallic and combines it with the production values of Soft Bulletin. That said, there are a few misteps on this album; it gets off to a After the success of Yoshimi, it's refreshing to hear this band continue to change their style instead of pulling a Nickelback and releasing the same record over and over. This CD takes the energy and guitar-centric sound of albums like Clouds Taste Metallic and combines it with the production values of Soft Bulletin. That said, there are a few misteps on this album; it gets off to a rather weak start with the catchy, but grating "Yeah Yeah Yeah" song and "Free Radicals". The album's second half makes up for this, and then some. It's not as good as Yoshimi, or the Soft Bulletin, but it definitely stands up to those records in it's own way. If you have yet to get either of those CDs, definitely look into them first. Big FLips fans like me will find a lot to love here. Expand
  78. attalips
    Apr 5, 2006
    4
    When I was 8, I really thought I was going to get some "Visionaries" action figures for Christmas. I was very, very excited about the prospect of new toys. It turned out that I got a crappy digital watch instead. The feeling of ripping open the present only to find something much worse than I expected is exactly the feeling I had upon listening to this boring and vapid album. I was When I was 8, I really thought I was going to get some "Visionaries" action figures for Christmas. I was very, very excited about the prospect of new toys. It turned out that I got a crappy digital watch instead. The feeling of ripping open the present only to find something much worse than I expected is exactly the feeling I had upon listening to this boring and vapid album. I was expecting so much and I got so little. Expand
  79. AdrianP
    Apr 6, 2006
    9
    neta este disco esta muy muy bueno, es totalmente el estilo de los mismisimos flaming, un poco loco pero musicalmente hipnotizante. No lo comparo con pasados como yoshimi, o el soft bulletin, pero en si este disco es emocionante. Great album, takes a while to settle in, but once youre in, just enjoy the ride. love these guys
  80. kyle
    Apr 7, 2006
    8
    Nearly as good as their previously mind-blowing albums and leagues above the rest of the acts out there today. A curious treat for the ears that gets better with every listen. It's tragic how many people of have never heard of these guys. Get the word out and go see them live.... WOW !!!
  81. PeterJ
    Apr 7, 2006
    10
    It is a very rare thing indeed when an album leaves the listener with a sense of fulfilment, excitement and wonder at the end of each listen. This, the eleventh full studio album from the Lips, pitches its tone in that sublime g-spot between joy and melancholy. Divine music. To ears well educated by the Lips back catalogue this comes out to be a culmination of their capabilities. A record It is a very rare thing indeed when an album leaves the listener with a sense of fulfilment, excitement and wonder at the end of each listen. This, the eleventh full studio album from the Lips, pitches its tone in that sublime g-spot between joy and melancholy. Divine music. To ears well educated by the Lips back catalogue this comes out to be a culmination of their capabilities. A record that challenges and excites, invents and develops, enchants and invigorates. Truly stunning and life affirming. Expand
  82. Cosmo
    Apr 7, 2006
    9
    Why bother to get all technical. Simply, there is nobody making music like this. This is great stuff. Bravo!
  83. DamianoM
    Apr 8, 2006
    10
    I really wanted to like this album....and I ended up loving it. Ifr the mainstream doesn't get it then its their loss. And those people giving it low scores must have downloaded a Nickleback torrent. Buy this album and it will become another shining jewel in the crown of your Flaming Lips music collection. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
  84. Jules
    May 2, 2006
    10
    What a joyous and thrilling album to live with! It is its diversity that I love - it'll make you laugh, cry and hurl as Wayne would say. I found Yoshimi beautiful and interesting but a little sleep inducing after a while and while soft bulletin is more cohesive and def a work of genius, Mystics is a different beast altogether - its genius lies in its sprawling diversity and rough What a joyous and thrilling album to live with! It is its diversity that I love - it'll make you laugh, cry and hurl as Wayne would say. I found Yoshimi beautiful and interesting but a little sleep inducing after a while and while soft bulletin is more cohesive and def a work of genius, Mystics is a different beast altogether - its genius lies in its sprawling diversity and rough edges. God forbid that our acid gods could have so much fun while raging against the machine - personally I'm glad they shed some of the pompositythat was starting to develop with Yoshimi. Expand
  85. AlexA
    Jun 11, 2006
    9
    Simply brilliant! Best Album of 2006 so far.
  86. JonL
    Jun 23, 2006
    8
    The Flaming Lips take heavier prog elements than before with the sensibility of Yoshimi to create yet another forward-looking, ambitious work, with strong music and an ability to go from their twisted brand of pop to somber numbers more druggy and elongated than ever before, yet with a less wonder-filled theme and grounded more in political implications. This leads to the real stumbling The Flaming Lips take heavier prog elements than before with the sensibility of Yoshimi to create yet another forward-looking, ambitious work, with strong music and an ability to go from their twisted brand of pop to somber numbers more druggy and elongated than ever before, yet with a less wonder-filled theme and grounded more in political implications. This leads to the real stumbling block on the album--the lyrics are not as strong or as profound as before, and the album doesn't feel as much a whole as their previous work with its somewhat jarring stylistic shifts, so it feels a little bit rushed, but it shows that the Lips are still moving in a positive direction and are still far from spent in terms of ideas. If they focus a bit more with this style on their couple next albums they can easily make another masterpiece or two. Expand
  87. StephenI
    Jun 29, 2006
    9
    I love it, simple beats, great tunes, awesome music, I love it!
  88. MihaiV
    Sep 29, 2006
    9
    A succes. I love all the different sounds. That's how a modern album should be: full all experiments, not just playing safe pretty tunes.
  89. GuyH
    Jan 22, 2007
    7
    Nowhere near their best but still a decent album. There are signs of a welcome return to the more expansive sound of The Soft Bulletin (Sound of Failure, the end of It Overtakes Me). A couple of absolute duds (Free Radicals, Haven't Got A Clue) and a bit of fodder (Ambulance Driver, Goin' On) bring the rating down.
  90. tomk
    Apr 11, 2006
    10
    I think this is their best album and considering I love most of their other work thats saying something for me. I cant believe this is getting negative reviews..
  91. Craig
    Apr 12, 2006
    10
    YES! What a great album, up there with the lips finest, not a stinker on this one. Filled with great melodies, amazing instrumentation from Steven Drozd and cool lyrics penned by Wayne Coyne. Go buy this album if you haven't!
  92. TBoog
    Apr 22, 2006
    8
    This one takes awhile to grow on you, but it's worth the wait. It's not quite on par with something like Yoshimi or Transmissions, and it's not something that you can just throw on and listen to any time like those two are, but it's still a pretty damn good album with time.
  93. PrasR
    Apr 25, 2006
    9
    If this album indeed gets better with more listens it might be a 10.
  94. AlexH
    Apr 25, 2006
    4
    I've been a Lips fan for ages now and I was looking forward to this album immensely. when "Mr. Ambulance Driver" came out a while back I was disappointed and declared it one of my least favorite Lips tracks... when Mystics finally dropped I soon discovered it to be one of my favorite tracks on the album, which certainly says something. just plain dumb songwriting, scattered I've been a Lips fan for ages now and I was looking forward to this album immensely. when "Mr. Ambulance Driver" came out a while back I was disappointed and declared it one of my least favorite Lips tracks... when Mystics finally dropped I soon discovered it to be one of my favorite tracks on the album, which certainly says something. just plain dumb songwriting, scattered production, boring instrumentation... come on, now, I know Wayne and the boys can do better than this. (that said, they remain one of the best live acts on the planet... go see them at any cost.) Expand
  95. MichaelC
    May 17, 2006
    10
    This album is simply mindblowing. Joins Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and The Soft Bulletin in the pantheon of amazing Lips albums.
  96. MC
    Sep 15, 2006
    8
    I won't argue whether or not this album measures up to previous efforts by the Lips; that's almost beside the point, no matter what you conclude. But AWWTM IS better than just about any album you'll pick up this year--it's almost unfair to rate Justin Timberlake and ilk on the same number scale. I must contest the reviewer who said the album weakens on repeated I won't argue whether or not this album measures up to previous efforts by the Lips; that's almost beside the point, no matter what you conclude. But AWWTM IS better than just about any album you'll pick up this year--it's almost unfair to rate Justin Timberlake and ilk on the same number scale. I must contest the reviewer who said the album weakens on repeated listens. While it's true some elements get annoying (the "Yeah, yeah" stuff, deep voiced dubs in "It Overtakes Me," some of the spacey electronica), the album remains strong. Maybe nothing here approaches the delicacy of "Feeling Yourself Disentegrate" or the loveliness of "Morning of the Magicians," but "The W.A.N.D." is like a politically-charged "The Gash," and "Vein of Stars" is one of the best mostly acoustic songs I've heard in a long time. It's a very good record. Expand
  97. Dec 15, 2010
    8
    At War With The Mystics is no Yoshimi, But it is a very good album. It's a little more rock orientated than Yoshimi. The guitars get pretty loud, and Wayne's voice soars high. Wayne's voice sounded so smooth in this album. It was just clear and perfect. The "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" is one of The Flaming Lip's best song. "The W.A.N.D", "Goin' On" and "Mr. Ambulance Driver" are all greatAt War With The Mystics is no Yoshimi, But it is a very good album. It's a little more rock orientated than Yoshimi. The guitars get pretty loud, and Wayne's voice soars high. Wayne's voice sounded so smooth in this album. It was just clear and perfect. The "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" is one of The Flaming Lip's best song. "The W.A.N.D", "Goin' On" and "Mr. Ambulance Driver" are all great tracks. All In All, At War With The Mystics doesn't top the sheer brilliant masterpiece Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, but it is still a very damn good album. B+ Expand
  98. Sep 3, 2011
    10
    To be honest, I didn't like this album as much at first. The Flaming Lips are my favorite band, and this album just didn't do it for me at first.

    Then I listened to it again. While "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" can certainly be annoying to many who haven't listened to The Flaming Lips, its a very clever song I think, along with many of the other songs on this album. Mr. Ambulance Driver is
    To be honest, I didn't like this album as much at first. The Flaming Lips are my favorite band, and this album just didn't do it for me at first.

    Then I listened to it again.

    While "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" can certainly be annoying to many who haven't listened to The Flaming Lips, its a very clever song I think, along with many of the other songs on this album. Mr. Ambulance Driver is another great song, about someone who wishes he could be in his friend's place. The Flaming Lips, between The Soft Bulletin and this album have this overarching theme of love, and At War With The Mystics continues it, with, as I said, Mr. Ambulance Driver, My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion, and Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung. As others have said, it certainly is different from other Lips' albums, but nonetheless great. More electronic than the others, and more strange. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with the album. Its no Soft Bulletin, but its not bad, like everyone seems to be saying. I would go so far to say that its actually pretty good.
    Expand
  99. Jan 4, 2014
    6
    This album is good, but doesn't quite reach the high watermark presented the band's previous releases. A lot of the songs just seem like regular, quickly-dashed-off indie pop songs that, had they been more developed, may have been much better. There are so many average songs that have a really good song at the center, but are smothered by the silliness and giddiness of the lyrics andThis album is good, but doesn't quite reach the high watermark presented the band's previous releases. A lot of the songs just seem like regular, quickly-dashed-off indie pop songs that, had they been more developed, may have been much better. There are so many average songs that have a really good song at the center, but are smothered by the silliness and giddiness of the lyrics and instrumentation. THERE, I SAID IT. THIS ALBUM IS TOO DAMN HAPPY. Apparently the band realized this, as their next release, Embryonic, was amazing as well as bleak and sort of depressing. Then they again went a little too far with the music found on The Terror, but this is not a review of that album (which is a little better than this one). Anyway, this release is a interesting but ultimately disappointing one from a great band who have rectified this mistake with their albums Embryonic and the underrated Heady Fwends. Expand
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Coyne is a shrewd observer of human nature, and an even shrewder songwriter and this album stands as his greatest and most varied work yet.
  2. 92
    Each consecutive [song] is stranger than the last. [#19, p.88]
  3. The weird part is how well this stuff holds together, a delirious jumble of android psychedelia and Coyne's elliptical wordplay that goes down as easily as warm milk (spiked with acid). [26 Mar 2006]