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The Wand by The Flaming Lips

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Reviewed on 12th August 2006.


The Wand

By The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are one of those bands who seem to have reached a comfortable plateau mid-way between commercial success and critical credibility; cool to enough to be dropped into earnest conversations over Jack and Cokes in bohemian watering holes, mainstream enough to be a regular fixture on the lucrative summer festival circuit.

Indeed, it is their aforementioned appearances at festivals, and their actual live shows that seem to have gathered them notoriety over the best part of the bands 20 years existence. Tales of confetti, inflatable balls and men in rabbit suits at their live shindigs point to a band that aren't scared of experimenting a little, and are more than happy to get jiggy with conventional formulas. But does their recorded output follow suit?

Well, to be quite honest I was expecting something with a little more pizzazz than the rather psychedelic blues-stomp-by-numbers of "The W.A.N.D. " Granted, the fuzzed-up Hendrixy guitar motif is catchy enough to get your foot gyrating in a pleasant manner, and the song does have a warm, swinging spirit that you feel is somewhat imbibed with the spirit of Bootsy Collins and Parliament. But ultimately this is background music for a summer day; pleasant vibes yes, but there's no real sense of direction to keep your attention.

It's a decent enough attempt, and there's certainly nothing wrong with the song per se, however I hear a lot of "alright" music. I want to hear more music that is fucking spectacular. I want to hear music that makes the hairs on the back of my neck shoot off into the stratosphere, that French-kisses me and throws me arse-first over the sofa. This song gives a peck on the cheek and pats me shyly on the head.

Oh well, The Flaming Lips. We didn't strike it off this time. I just didn't feel the connection, and you probably feel any spark either. But I'm not going to give up on you yet; I know there's more to you than this. I'll put it down to a bad first-experience, a furtive fumble. There will be a next time soon though.

I've got your number.



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