Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Flaming Lips: Embryonic [Warner Bros., 2009]
Although I gather there's a concept here, knowing what it is might ruin the gently wigged-out dystopianism the lyrics cozy up to. More important, it might undercut the otherwise irreducible pleasures of their exploding guitars, unworldly synths, and crazy drums. So take this articulated chaos as rock musique concrète, and use it the way we infidels use Kid A. A jumpier, scarier, more ridiculous ride, it doesn't make such suitable dinner music. But it might loosen you up enough to go in and agitate for that raise--though you probably don't have as much in the bank as Wayne Coyne should your demands rub the wrong person the wrong way. That's how dystopia is. A-