As a writer of sorts, I use the advice of others when writing. One quote which I come back to again and again is from George Orwell and it is, ‘If it is possible to cut a word out, cut it out.’ And for me I find that this helps me produce more accurate and accessible writing. With that in mind, I struggle to imagine what George Orwell would have made of the new Flaming Lips album, The Terror. Obviously if he listened to it in 1945 he might be a bit confused as he would have missed the seismic shift in approaches to making music over the last fifty years, but also because Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, has decided to use every tool at his disposal to make a long drawn out album with songs that are long in length, but short on depth. In the words of David Byrne, “You talk a lot, but you’re not saying anything.”

If this seems a bit harsh then I am sorry. Flaming Lips have obviously garnered enough critical acclaim and a large loyal fanbase over the years, and I was surprised to learn they’ve been going since 1983, so the fact they are still they are still taking creative risks after all these years deserves respect. But to what end?

There are moments in this album which genuinely piqued my interest, namely the electronic noises they create, the lack of traditional song structures and the dream like effect this creates. The first track, ‘Look….. The Sun is Rising’, sounds like the soundtrack to a party that has gone on till dawn, something which I am sure the Lips are no stranger to. The pulsing electronic rhythm that the song begins with lasts long after the feedback is gone, but these rhythms never seem to come to fruition or come together to make the basis for a fuller sounding song.

Another songs that also shows promise, but never quite delivers, is the second track ‘Be Free Away’. There is an interesting melody to this, something about it, Coynes singing and lyrics move with the music and suit the tone of the song. The drum beat in ‘You Are Away’ and the interesting synth noises on ‘You Are Alone’ catch the attention, but Wayne Coyne seems determined that his high pitched vocals and inconsequential lyrics be the most abiding feature of the song.

But the track which I think typifies The Terror most is the thirteen minute long track entitled, ‘You Lust’. The song begins with Coyne saying, “You’ve got a lot of love to fuck with me, cos you’re just like me.” He is singing in a voice which reminds me a lot of a vampire but not a genuinely scary one, a comedy vampire like Count Duckula perhaps. Again it’s quite shapeless and indulgent, and after six minutes I check to see when it will fade away and am far from thrilled to find out that I am less than half the way through.

It’s not that I only like three minute punk songs. But thirteen minutes, really? Especially when Coyne doesn’t even seem to know himself what he’s trying to say. It’s like a joke without a punchline. There is not enough depth to their experimentation to justify such a long song. In the time it takes for it to reach its end I could have made a brew, fed the cat, and watered the plants.

Unfortunately I have a pot of tea by me, don’t own a cat and only have a cactus. Maybe I could steal someone else’s cat. People do that don’t they? Steal cats. They lure them in with steak and central heating. Just as I am about to plot a cat- nap out of nowhere twelve minutes in, there is a sample of an American woman’s voice saying, “I began to understand myself.” It sounds like a sample from a self- help audio book, which is topical because after listening to ‘You Lust’, I was reaching for the self- help books as well.

Wayne Coyne says that The Terror is their bleakest album yet, and I would certainly not disagree with that as I found it indulgent and miserable. There will obviously be an audience ready to receive The Terror warmly, but seven, eight, and thirteen minute bleak songs are just not my pot of tea.

Release Date 01/04/2013 (Bella Union)

When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?