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At War With the Mystics

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The Flaming Lips: J. Michelle Martin-Coyne

Having developed their brand of euphoric rock weirdness in relative obscurity, the Flaming Lips’ 11th studio album, At War With the Mystics finds them realizing they now have certain expectations to meet. Certainly, this would explain the self-consciously arch, if little referenced, central concept (space wizards are involved) and irritatingly upbeat opener, ”Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.” But much of the CD is both beautiful and heartfelt, particularly singer Wayne Coyne’s meditation on his mom’s recent death, ”Mr. Ambulance Driver.”