Track Review: The Flaming Lips, ‘The Castle’
With “The Castle,” The Flaming Lips deliver another compelling single from the highly anticipated album, Oczy Mlody.
Experimental rock band The Flaming Lips don’t sell particularly well. Did they ever? The answer is a resounding no. To date, the RIAA has certified just one TFL album: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot. Regardless, the band is prolific, continuing to push boundaries musically. After a two-year hiatus – With a Little Help From my Fwends, released in late 2014 – TFL return with new album, Oczy Mlody. Ahead of Oczy Mlody, the band issued four singles: “How??”, “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young),” “The Castle,” and “We a Famly.”
A sick groove anchors “The Castle” down. This hails directly from the modern play book: hip-hop and urban contemporary. Featuring excellent vocal production, the use of reverb and supporting vocals establishes the chill vibe. As always, vibe is everything. Everything!
“The Castle” is approached narratively. Each verse adds something different, while each chorus is varied. On the first chorus, Coyne sings:
“And the castle gets mistaken for a ship that’s floating in the clouds / And the castle is brighter than a thousand Christmas trees / And the castle can never be rebuilt again / No way.”
On the second chorus, the state of the castle shifts:
“And the castle oscillates to the beating heart of her mind / and the castle is taller than the Northern Lights / And the castle can never be rebuilt again / No way”
Despite variants within the chorus, the last line of each remains the same:
“And the castle can never be rebuilt again / No way”
All in all, “The Castle” makes the anticipation for Oczy Mlody even greater. Once more, The Flaming Lips have delivered another captivating soundscape.