American Head Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 16th full-length studio release for the experimental rock band features a guest appearance from Kacey Musgraves
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 91
    American Head stands alongside The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots as one of the very best records The Flaming Lips have recorded and should be required listening for anyone who’s gone on their own quarantine-induced walk down memory lane in search of a way to survive this year.
  2. 85
    American Head is a rare concept album that actually coheres as a narrative, but can just as easily (but less rewardingly, perhaps) be enjoyed as simply a set of the band’s most potent and moving tunes since the early '00s.
  3. Sep 8, 2020
    80
    Though the current incarnation of the Flaming Lips has been together since 2014, and thus responsible for these various digressions, the band has undertaken a sonic overhaul here that matches the emotional, sentimental tenor of Coyne and Steven Drozd’s new compositions.
  4. 80
    There’s little about American Head that deviates from the Lips’ usual surreal sound. The overarched arrangements, replete with shimmering rhythms, soaring instrumentation, hushed harmonies and all sorts of cosmic noodling remain intact. If anything, they borrow from early Pink Floyd, hitching a ride to gain interstellar overdrive.
  5. Sep 11, 2020
    77
    American Head handles this heavy subject matter with a light touch, framing its stories in a magic-realist sunset atmosphere that lends even its gravest songs an earthbound charm.
  6. Sep 11, 2020
    75
    The album has a slow chain drive narrative to it that feels as close to a recounting as anything the group has done. And there is a certain comfort in settling in for the album’s nearly hour-long journey to the before and the beyond.
  7. Sep 14, 2020
    40
    Coyne’s quivering voice still captures the frailty of the human spirit, and his band have made songs that will draw tears from frazzled audiences until the Earth slides into the sea. Yet too many of his death-obsessed drug lyrics are lamely predictable and uninvolving, and swaddling his vocals in effects until he sounds like Rob Brydon’s “man in a box” doesn’t help.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 11, 2020
    10
    The Flaming Lips needed direction. Since 2009's Embryonic their albums have been marked by chaotic sounds and sonic digression. They've alwaysThe Flaming Lips needed direction. Since 2009's Embryonic their albums have been marked by chaotic sounds and sonic digression. They've always been an experimental group, but it's gotten the better of them for much of the last decade. On American Head, they've focused their approach to deliver their most consistent album since Yoshimi in 2002. Their usual themes (life, death, the universe) are here, but anchored by personal experience, which gives the songs a newfound resonance and weight. If this is the Lips reborn, their next chapter promises to be a great one! Expand
  2. Sep 25, 2020
    10
    There is something to be said about a band who pushes all boundaries when it comes to music. American Head seems to focus on more orchestralThere is something to be said about a band who pushes all boundaries when it comes to music. American Head seems to focus on more orchestral psychedelic pop coupled with neo-psychedelic tendencies that does not seem all too different for a band who fall prey to their psychedelic tendencies. At the same time, this album is a total reinvention of what we would expect from them. While it is trippy, it's poppier than any of their other releases, but that is what makes it so darn good. In fact, I would go as far to say that this is their best album. The flow is incredible, the songs are relatable, and the songs are more consistent. I don't find myself skipping any of these songs and I can't stop listening on repeat. Expand
  3. Sep 11, 2020
    10
    Absolutely stunning. The ‘Lips creating a stellar record in line with The Soft Bulletin all the whole sounding sonically richer. One of theAbsolutely stunning. The ‘Lips creating a stellar record in line with The Soft Bulletin all the whole sounding sonically richer. One of the best records of the year. Expand
  4. Sep 11, 2020
    9
    it is a very good a im a mario i write a review for the new flaming lips a.
  5. Sep 11, 2020
    9
    Lyrically American Head is a return to form with the dreamy melancholy nostalgia that filled their earlier work. Instrumentally it feels likeLyrically American Head is a return to form with the dreamy melancholy nostalgia that filled their earlier work. Instrumentally it feels like a fresh new direction for the band with little influences from every previous album. Expand
  6. Sep 14, 2020
    8
    It has been many years since I've had expectations from The Flaming Lips.
    After the release of the solid At War with the Mystics, they went
    It has been many years since I've had expectations from The Flaming Lips.
    After the release of the solid At War with the Mystics, they went on a very fruitful but distant streak in quality.

    2013's The Terror was a really good album but American Head was an impressive surprise.

    The album itself doesn't have an epic song, nor a devastating single that will appeal to the masses, is not like that. However, American Head remembers the audiences, what it's to create an entire album that must be listened from beginning to end.

    That is what this album is. A journey.
    An atmospheric trip that catches you.

    American Head is a relaxing and rewarding album, but all of this is accomplished if you wish to immerse yourself in the experience.

    It's definitely their best album in years, especially as the music feels mature and cohesive again, something Wayne Coyne often loses sight of.

    However this time he has managed to silence me and has delivered a necessary album of very good music.

    Notable Tracks.

    > Will You Return / When You Come Down
    > Watching the Lightbugs Glow
    > Flowers of Neptune 6
    > At the Movies on Quaaludes
    > Mother Please Don't Be Sad
    > Assassins of Youth
    Expand
  7. Sep 17, 2020
    7
    ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎