The Flaming Lips: Embryonic
October 13, 2009
Thoughts: This album is abrasive in many ways. The drums sounds, the guitar tones, the… whatever sounds. Because of this, I couldn’t hear it at first. I went in expecting something to the extent of a… neo-psychedelic spacey pop-rock anthem, but Embryonic is just not that, and it really really does not want to be. That being said, Embryonic is very amazing. The album works as an album. The themes and sounds build periodically to form multiple high points, and in the end, a very clear product. freaky strangeness.
Listening: This album is meant to completely fill a space with sound. The dynamic range is huge. The frequency range is huge. There is so much to be heard. Thus, you should listen to it on speakers… and nice ones.
Warning: I would not listen to Embryonic with headphones unless your only other option is laptop speakers. This is for a few reasons…
- Loudness: This album is recorded to be LOUD.
- Transients: Embryonic is filled with quick hits and transients that your ear is not expecting, many of which are high pitched, covered in fuzz, or extremely loud. This can be painful or even damaging to your hearing. I know that after I listened to this album in headphones my ears just felt so tired.
- Panning: There is a lot of hard panning in Embryonic. This sounds really interesting through a stereo, but when there is no bleed from ear to ear it is often disorienting or even annoying.
- Length: Having headphones or ear buds in your ears for 70 minutes is just hard to do sometimes. It isn’t good if your ears are in pain.