At War With The Mystics

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 149

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. JohnS
    Apr 5, 2006
    5
    Very average.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. JohnD
    Apr 4, 2006
    6
    has some fun songs, but a ho-hum record for a great band like the lips.
  11. 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
  12. ScottW
    Apr 7, 2006
    5
    The band seemed to be progressing with every new album, but this one seems to take a step back.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. KurtCobain
    Apr 4, 2006
    5
    Pretty much shit. What happened d00ds?
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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. Filter
    92
    Each consecutive [song] is stranger than the last. [#19, p.88]
  3. Los Angeles Times
    88
    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]