Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Landing somewhere in the middle of The Flaming Lips' catalog is "Hit To Death In The Future Head," which has long felt like a transitional album in their continual chameleon-like career. The shift seems to be in a move away from the acidic psychedelia into psychedelic Beach Boys. Kinda like goodbye Sonic Youth, hello Beatles' White Album. This most easily found as the lazy roll of "The Sun" or the peppier, undeniably catchy "Gingerale Afternoon." Wayne Coyne is also exploring the possibilities of his singing voice; this is the first Lips CD where his singing really shines all they way through.
It may be also worth noting that "Hit" was the last Lips album to feature guitarist Jonathan Donahue and drummer Nathan Roberts were aboard. Donahue contributes plenty of guitar freakouts, like on "Frogs" and "The Magician Versus The Headache," along with all the whacked out sounds mixed into the CD's half-hour "bonus" track of cacophony. (Shades of 1997's Zaireeka, anyone?) There are plenty of epic moments to be found here, but the follow-up album was the powerful "Transmissions From The Satellite Heart," the Lips' artistic and commercial breakthrough. As such, "Hit" is a cool listen, but not the place to start of you want to discover why Flaming Lips can be such a magic band.