Tag Archives: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Singles of 2009!

30 Dec

Below is a list of my top 50 favourite singles, a better list than I thought it would be, turns out 2009 was a good year for singles. I particuarly liked the lo-fi pop coming out of America (Girls, Wavves, Surfer Blood etc). Links to videos are provided for the top 20 and stay tuned for top 50 albums of the year coming soon…

50. Uprising – Muse

49. So Bored – Wavves

48. The Fixer – Pearl Jam

47. Omen – The Prodigy

46. We Are The People – Empire Of The Sun

45. Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

44. Stillness is the move – Dirty Projectors

43. Velvet – The Big Pink

42. Hooting and Howling – Wild Beasts

41. Bulletproof – La Roux

40. In For The Kill – La Roux

39. The Captain – Biffy Clyro

38. While You Wait For The Others – Grizzly Bear

37. Cousins – Vampire Weekend

36. That Golden Rule – Biffy Clyro

35. Fire – Kasabian

34. Crystallised – The XX

33. 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day

32. Orange Shirt – Discovery

31. One Week of Danger – The Virgins

30. 11th Dimension – Julian Casablancas

29. Empire State of Mind – Jay Z

28. Feel It All Around – Washed Out

27. No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand

26. Warriors Dance – The Prodigy

25. The Fear – Lilly Allen

24. Dominos – The Big Pink

23. Walking on a dream – Empire Of The Sun

22. Love You Better – The Maccabees

21. Pokerface – Lady Gaga

20. Daniel – Bats For Lashes

19. Crying Lightning – Arctic Monkeys

18. Brightside – The Soft Pack

17. Who Can Say – The Horrors

16. Sticks and Stones – Jamie T

15. Laura – Girls

14. Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear

13. My Girls – Animal Collective

12. Never Forget You – The Noisettes

11. Sun Was High and So Was I – Best Coast

10. Hyph Mngo – Joy Orbison

9. Swim to reach The End – Surfer Blood

8. Rich Girls – The Virgins

7. Bonkers – Dizzie Rascal

6. Remedy – Little Boots

5. Song Away – Hockey

4. Lets go Surfing – The Drums

3. Cornerstone – Arctic Monkeys

2. Lust For Life – Girls

1. Sea Within A Sea – The Horrors

The Flaming Lips ‘Embryonic’ – Review

18 Oct

The Flaming Lips have always been one step out of sync with their contemporaries – one step ahead of the game in many respects, curiously old fashioned in another, and way out to the left in yet another. But to me they have always been a pop band at heart, a band with catchy melodies, breezy harmonies and a unique identity. Yet this pop heart has always been well hidden under layers of psychedelic glam and space rock lyrics, so commercial success hasn’t always accompanied the critical praise.

But since their last album (‘At War With The Mystics’) there has been an influx of bands labelled ‘Neo Psychedelic’, bands who are clearly indebted to The Flaming Lips, and in touch with their adventurous spirit. Bands like MGMT, Animal Collective and Star Death are all making great music, as well as achieving in the charts. Flaming Lips once again have everything to prove but suddenly have less obstacles in their way thanks to these younger groups.

Embryonic is the band’s twelfth album and their first double record, with 18 songs spread over two discs. But this is not really a sprawling double in the spirit of The White album. They don’t use the extra space to dive into a Jazz odyssey or commit acoustic suicide, it all feels very cohesive and very Flaming Lips. But that’s not to say there are no problems with the double disc format – in fact this album suffers from the same troubles that all double albums do. They could easily have fitted this onto one CD and it would have been a much better album for it.

To add to the great length this is also their craziest and most experimental album in a decade, no bad thing, but by the end of the record you feel exhausted and tired. MGMT made an accessible, modern psychedelic record that managed to be fun and intelligent. ‘Embryonic’ feels just as intelligent but lacks the joy of ‘Oracular Spectacular’ and the pop power of Flaming Lips better albums.

Nonetheless there is much to get into here, if you let the madness sink in. Highlights include opener ‘Convinced of the hex’ which makes them sound like a 21st century Jefferson Airplane and the bleak but beautiful ‘Evil’. Elsewhere there are guest appearances from the likes of MGMT (on the disappointing ‘Worm Mountain’) and Karen O (the brilliantly weird ‘I can be a frog’).

‘Embryonic’ is a sporadic, overlong, overwrought, overwhelming, yet madly fascinating album that re-establishes The Flaming Lips as one of the most interesting and eccentric bands of our generation. This is no easy listen, but if you invest your time in it, ‘Embryonic’ may well blow your mind.

8/10