At War With The Mystics

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 151 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 151

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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?
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]