The Terror - The Flaming Lips
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Apr 16, 2013
    91
    The Terror is the sound of The Flaming Lips going from a group experience to an internal monologue, the perfect record for any fan who has ever felt like the band could use two “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”s for every “Race For The Prize.”
  2. 90
    It’s an album that provides tangibility to an incredibly complex feeling.
  3. Apr 15, 2013
    90
    By facing down the exhausting nature of depression and loneliness (seriously, Coyne sounds so depleted that he can barely muster the dejection to sing, and yes, that's a compliment), the Lips have retroactively strengthened their entire artistic credo.
  4. Apr 11, 2013
    90
    If nothing else can be said about The Terror, it at least represents the culmination of all of The Flaming Lips’ oddball experiments and elongated, anti-sonorous jams into a single, abrasively beautiful cacophony.
  5. Apr 1, 2013
    90
    While The Terror feels at first glance like an exercise in noise and disintegration, repeated listens reveal it to be a dark, challenging, and ultimately rewarding work of genius. It may be their best yet.
  6. Apr 16, 2013
    85
    It would almost be safe to say The Flaming Lips have hit closer to the classic record here than on the Dark Side cover album they released a few years ago.
  7. May 15, 2013
    80
    The Terror is simply the latest (and darkest) report from those reaches, one that generates holographic intensities of the dire straits this band has seen throughout its 30-year career.
  8. May 6, 2013
    80
    The Terror is an unselfish view of a world free of human manipulation, and as such is a staggering listen to fans accustomed to the Lips’ sheeny pop orchestra and, before that, their lo-fi quirk.
  9. Apr 16, 2013
    80
    The beauty is fleeting but piquant.
  10. Apr 15, 2013
    80
    It's not easy to face up to and present the worst parts of being alive, much less in a way that's artistically pleasing or relevant. The Lips don't make it sound easy, which is why The Terror is so powerful.
  11. Apr 15, 2013
    80
    There's always been a relentless optimism hidden behind the Flaming Lips' unique brand of pop experimentalism.... Which makes their understated 13th album, The Terror, an evocation of a bleak, post-apocalyptic future, such a striking contrast.
  12. Apr 12, 2013
    80
    At turns noisy, wistful and dark, The Terror is a beguiling record that's as beautiful as it is frightening.
  13. Apr 11, 2013
    80
    The Terror crafts that chaos into a careful, impeccably sequenced compositions that should buy Coyne at least a few more years of guilt-free wackiness.
  14. Apr 11, 2013
    80
    The Terror may be The Flaming Lips’ most concise statement to date.
  15. Apr 9, 2013
    80
    [Wayne Coyne's] prolix tendencies have been stripped down into sombre considerations of lust, mortality and universal chaos. [May 2013, p.87]
  16. Apr 9, 2013
    80
    The Terror is dark and experimental, full of synths and loops that owe more to Krautrock than guitar bands. [May 2013, p.101]
  17. It’s the sound of the man inside the ball feeling an unknowable fear and trying to accept it. The rest of us should join him in his strife, if only to enjoy that psychedelic drone groove. It’s an anxious riot.
  18. 80
    Beautiful, blissful melodies are buried in there.
  19. 80
    The fact that a band thirteen albums in to their career can still make music that scares their audience is one thing. But the most amazing thing about The Terror is that it sounds like they still have the capacity to scare themselves.
  20. Mar 26, 2013
    80
    The nine songs ooze out with floating bits of atmospherics and noise appearing and receding in the murk while hypnotizing listeners via insistent synth and drum loops. [May 2013, p.88]
  21. Mar 26, 2013
    80
    After it burrows its way under your skin, The Terror does genuinely feel like something of a dark masterpiece, the album you’ll stick on to discredit anyone who tries to claim The Flaming Lips are lacking in depth or darkness.
  22. Apr 11, 2013
    78
    It’s their most cohesive record since Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and its eternally exhausted realizations and powerful, if demanding, passages confirm that the band is as tight and concentrated as they’ve ever been.
  23. Apr 5, 2013
    78
    By matching their ever-evolving, exploratory musical ethos with less eager-to-please, more confrontational modes of performance, the album marks the moment when the Flaming Lips become whole again.
  24. As one of the most polarizing records in their extensive discography, this release is sure to divide certain fans, especially those who were disillusioned by the relative inaccessibility of Embryonic. For listeners looking for a noisy and thoroughly experimental album, though, The Terror is just what the doctor ordered.
  25. The Terror is a frightening trip, a fantastically cohesive album, and one that could have benefited greatly from a bit more editing and perhaps a little better track sequencing.
  26. Apr 16, 2013
    70
    It's a dark, repetitive, uncompromising record, full of challenges and threats. [No. 97, p.51]
  27. Apr 15, 2013
    70
    It’s a take-it-or-leave-it album that’s willing to be inert or annoying. But its obsessiveness brings its own rewards.
  28. Apr 8, 2013
    70
    The Terror stares back at you like panicked faces underneath a frozen lake, visible, but distant. It’s giant metallic bugs filling an apocalyptic sky and blotting out a blood red sun.
  29. Mar 29, 2013
    70
    As with most "difficult" albums, the more one listens, the more forgiving they become. [May 2013, p.77]
  30. Mar 26, 2013
    70
    It's almost relentlessly bleak, but taken as a whole, the overall experience can be intriguing. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.92]
  31. Apr 1, 2013
    67
    It's all fog machines and mirrors, with heavy synth riffs and deep motorik grooves that loop ad infinitum.
  32. 60
    It's still awesome, of course, just don't expect to enjoy it. [May 2013, p.85]
  33. Jun 4, 2013
    60
    There’s nothing to dislike about their creeping dread, but it’s hard to engage with it.
  34. Apr 15, 2013
    60
    It turns out the emotions here are real, but conveyed through a deeply (and cleverly) contrived performance.
  35. 60
    The Flaming Lips return with one of their most challenging, yet cohesive records to date.
  36. 60
    The Terror is by no means a bad record. It's just the low that comes with the highs.
  37. 50
    Artists from Radiohead to Liars have explored this territory already, and better. [19/26 Apr 2013, p.112]
  38. Apr 16, 2013
    50
    It flat-out confounds.
  39. Apr 15, 2013
    50
    It sounds like it was made by the last survivor on a dying planet, a final transmission from an underground bunker.
  40. Mar 26, 2013
    50
    The Terror is a record that feels high on concept, but short on songs. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.92]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    The first time I heard this album, I thought to myself, "Yup, that's weird". After the second and third listen, I understand why the album isThe first time I heard this album, I thought to myself, "Yup, that's weird". After the second and third listen, I understand why the album is called "The Terror". It's a scary album. It's just so dark and depressing that you just love it that much more. There is no light at the end of the tunnel... only more darkness. My dad told me that one of the songs made him feel like the world was about to end. So, if you're into the happier, lighter side of The Flaming Lips (like in Yoshimi or even The Soft Bulletin), you may go into shock listening to this album. The highlights are: "The Terror", "You Are Alone", and "Turning Violent". Full Review »
  2. Aug 21, 2013
    4
    What. A disappointment. The Flaming Lips, prior to this record, made three back to back albums that I fell in love with and still listen toWhat. A disappointment. The Flaming Lips, prior to this record, made three back to back albums that I fell in love with and still listen to today. I understand the band and primarily Wayne Coyne are growing older, but I don't understand the complete shift in their sound, especially one this depressing and glum. How sad and terrified could Wayne Coyne be? This record is an awful acid trip and I guess me being in the minority did not find many values to enjoy in this album. Wayne sounds hlf dead and the band hardly put any effort in it. While their previous records sounded bombastic and very theatrical, The Terror sounds too restrained, something that seems great on paper but executed very sloppily.

    All In All, The Terror is The Flaming Lips' weakest release I've heard, but in a slight way shows their maturity clearly coming through. I just hope it's done well next time. C-
    Full Review »
  3. May 26, 2014
    10
    The Terror is so perfect! I can stop screaming about it to anyone who'll listen, and even then I don't think they'll give it a chance. YouThe Terror is so perfect! I can stop screaming about it to anyone who'll listen, and even then I don't think they'll give it a chance. You have to let it get in there. It takes a few listens, and probably some time away, but when you commit to understanding and appreciating this album, you will be so greatly rewarded. This album is so deep and intense. Everything that makes Dark Side Of The Moon is here and so much more. It's so deep and so intense, AAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!! Full Review »