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 different music from House to Heavy Metal depending on how old I was, what I was doing at the time and the kind of people I was hanging out with. So I can safely say I am open to most things as long as it’s good but obviously that is entirely subjective and open to interpretation, which I guess is what Silent Radio is all about. However, I would say that overall my alliances lie with Electronic Music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having just returned from Sonar I felt a warm glow being surrounded by so many people who appreciate Electronic Music but there were times when I became a little jaded and questioned its integrity especially after seeing Katy B perform for the 3RD TIME! Will Katy B still be remembered in six years? I doubt it. But I guess that is the nature of Pop Music in particular; some stand the test of time, some don't. I think having grown up and lived in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by the club scene post- hacienda and the music at nights like Electric Chair which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. Basically anything with a groove, I like. But this is not confined to Dance Music I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook such as Wild Beasts, music that captures an emotion and has a heart. While at University I was also listening to music that didn’t really have much of a heart but more of a pacemaker in terms of the emotion it conveyed and that was Electro-Clash, a completely non- sensical and at times ridiculous genre that borrowed elements from House, Italio Disco and Techno and re- formed them in to one fun, but ridiculous package. While at University, I had my own radio Show where I tried to convey some of my musical tastes acquired from up north and had guest DJ's from a night in New Cross called Zombie Disco, with Jamie from Zombie Disco now working with Lindstrom. We also borrowed the services of Rina from Ladytron who had a guest DJ slot. Anyhow, I think it is safe to say I like a wide range of music apart from Katy B, sorry Katy.