First Listen: The Flaming Lips, 'The Terror'
After nearly 30 years, couldn't be harder to predict or pin down. The Oklahoma band has nothing left to prove — no lofty commercial standard to maintain, no gigantic hit of the variety anyone expects it to re-create, and no core sound whose boundaries and limitations must be pressed against with great care. Immortality is secure, thanks to both a left-field '90s novelty smash ("She Don't Use Jelly") and two albums viewed as unimpeachable classics (The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots). Wayne Coyne and his co-conspirators have long been liberated and encouraged to indulge their whims, especially on their 13 studio records.