Review Summary: A charming and soft way of psychedelic dream.
The Flaming Lips did several changes in their always changing musical journey in their 2009 album Embryonic, it was remarkable most by its mad and distorted groovy drum lines, lots of off odd noises and some strange psychedelic lyrics expressed in creative vocal lines that turned that album on some-kind of atmospheric experimental soundtrack for a modern revival of a 70'' psychedelic party mixed with a modern rave feel.
If you compare the differences among the cover art of those two albums, you can realize, in a very well done work of esthetic, what is all about in the music of the album. The Embryonic cover art is much more electric and clearly powerful effort, while The Terror has a much more contemplative touch.
The Terror seems to be the end of a big party, after hours and hours of trips across the night, with visions and danceable anthems as “Watching the Planets”, The Terror stays where it is time to sit on a nice place to watch the sunset and finally slow down without ever losing the sense of psychedelia. It has a much more subtle sound-scape, soft harmonies, slow vocals without the sense of drama that used to fix in your mind and never let go. It's a much calmer but still noisy effort, which seems to be a lot more influenced by ambient music, as Brian Eno, and sometimes a feeling as it is some-kind of new wave sound on acid.
Even being a much more slowed down and soft relaxing music, this album has moments of experimentation and a pretty much large collection of cool psychedelic riffs, charming keyboard melodies and chorus creative and concise lines. The song 'You lust', for a stand-out example, is a seven minute odyssey through a whole lot of different moments and slowed synergies of different realms of atmosphere. It has some very cool touches of more groovy and danceable drum and bass works, followed by a long ambient moment with rich and transcendental vocal lines.
It's still impressive in this album how they can bring a very singular kind of atmosphere and at the same time a whole lot of different kinds of sounds and tones. It's very electronic and repetitive at times, and the lyrics last long periods of time sounding a little like a mantra. The Flaming lips has somewhat actualized the dense and a little dark sound brought to earth by Pink Floyd on albums like a “A Saurceful of Secrets” with its some-kind of occult thematic. I can see even Krautrock influences for sure, being by that double vein that the progressive heritage appears on The Terror.
It's an album with less stand out moments in comparison with Embryonic but, at the same time, The Terror has less bad moments. It is also a much different form of music than the monumental pop-like anthems albums such as “The Soft Bulletin” and “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”. It is a more ambient and mature way of psychedelic and is highly indicated for those who enjoyed Embryonic but maybe a little hard to swallow for the old and traditional fans.
Certainly a cool moment will happen If you put this LP in your future open air party. It is hard to see through those several layers of lightning and dreamy walls of sound, but i'm sure the reward will be great: it sounds more like an astral experience than a simple musical listening. You have to let it go, walking on search for inner knowledge. Or you can just daydream in a soft evening. Look how the sun slips through the clouds, close your ways and pay attention to several kinds of red and black in the stains of your own eyes, and then, please try to explain.
Turn It On (very cool wave to start the album)
Be Free, a Way (Beautiful vocal lines)
You Lust (lots of worlds)
Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die (Strong and strange)
We Don't Control the Controls (Epic and ambient at the same time)