The Flaming Lips have finally put their latest album, “The King’s Mouth,” on larger release and streaming services. This follows on from its limited edition vinyl run on record store day.
Although they have dabbled with concept albums on a more generalised thematic level up to now, “The Kings Mouth” is the first direct concept album with lyrics and spoken word elements mixing with the music. It tells an odd fairy tale that could only come from front man Wayne Coynes head.
The album returns to the whimsy, and even features some sound elements of their album “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.” This moves away from the darker trajectory of the past couple of albums. Its a sound that The Flaming Lips and their producer Dave Fridmann have perfected over the years, and suits the albums narrative well.
The large, digital orchestration of samplers and synthesizers create a world that is bathed in optimism. Every cloud, no matter how big and dark, has a silver lining. This leads to a playful album, full of great songs and psych rock instrumentals.
For an individual track “how many times” is a great place to start. It balances the fine line between playfulness and jollity without sounding too saccharin and twee. It is a skill very few bands achieve and The Flaming Lips are masters of. Consider this track an aperitif to an album that’s well worth your time: