The Flaming Lips — King’s Mouth: Music and Songs (13 April, 2019) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Recorded: 2011 at Tarbox Road Studios, Cassadaga, New York
Album release: 13th April, 2019
Record Label: Warner Bros.
Duration:     41:21
01. We Don’t Know How and We Don’t Know Why   1:35
02. The Sparrow   5:17
03. Giant Baby   3:47
04. Mother Universe   1:51
05. How Many Times   3:22
06. Electric Fire   4:39
07. All for the Life of the City   4:43
08. Feedaloodum Beedle Dot   2:50
09. Funeral Parade   2:53
10. Dipped in Steel   1:33
11. Mouth of the King   4:54
12. How Can a Head   3:57
CHRIS INGALLS 12 Apr 2019; Score: 8
The Flaming Lips’ King’s Mouth is full of bold musical cues, weird science fiction themes… and Mick Jones.
•    It says a lot about the general weirdness of the Flaming Lips that when they make a concept album featuring narration by Mick Jones of the Clash, it barely registers a blip on the “odd” scale. Surely, King’s Mouth: Music and Songs is a delightfully strange album, but this is a band that made an experimental four~disc set meant to play simultaneously on four CD players (the ambitious, if slightly flawed Zaireeka), a Dark Side of the Moon tribute album, and have cultivated a difficult~to~explain relationship with pop singer Miley Cyrus. The Flaming Lips rarely do anything by the book.
•    Having said that, King’s Mouth — released in limited (4,000 copies) gold vinyl for Record Store Day, with a general release in July — is pretty standard Flaming Lips fare. The usual sonic structure is in place: belching analog synths, strumming acoustic guitars, frontman Wayne Coyne’s off~key crooning. If anything, the album comes off as a more low~key version of their standard sound.
•    An interesting wrinkle with this particular album is that it parallels Coyne’s immersive art installation of the same name, showcased in museums in New Mexico, Oregon, Maryland, and the band’s home state of Oklahoma. Perhaps the airier, less abrasive sound on King’s Mouth is the result of Coyne attempting a more inclusive piece of art. “The King’s Mouth immersive/childlike qualities are born from the same spark and womb as the Flaming Lips live performances,” he explains in the press release, adding that it “was made for humans of all sizes, ages, cultures, and religions”.
•    Not that this is a standard, radio~friendly pop album. The brief opener, “We Don’t Know How and We Don’t Know Why” is a typically swirling, psychedelic fanfare that sets the stage with the aid of Jones’ recitations. “We don’t know how and we don’t know why,” he says, “but when the king was born / His mother died / She was the queen of their hearts / And the queen of their minds / Her sisters and the nation cried and cried.” And we’re off.
•    King’s Mouth veers from cracked lullabies like “Giant Baby” to trippy, distorted collages like “Electric Fire” to the dark funk workout “Feedaloodum~Beedle~Dot”. Jones provides the narrative glue to the album’s story, but it never really overpowers the album. It’s not by any means a dominant, distracting feature. He pops in every once in a while to provide updates in an innocent, children’s book cadence, navigating through the trippy twists and turns with the music providing appropriate dramatic flair.
•    Their first album since 2017’s somewhat polarizing Oczy Moldy, King’s Mouth seems perfectly happy to tread stylistic water, acting almost like a default Lips album, despite (or perhaps because of) the thematic ambitions at work. The band also manages to once again pull the wool over the eyes of any listener who insists that the band is all style and no substance. Buried underneath the idiosyncrasies of “How Many Times”, for instance, is a gorgeous, tender pop song. The band is often dismissed as a cabal of weirdos, but they know how to coax a great hook out from under the layers of aural goop.
•    It almost seems beside the point to follow the story of King’s Mouth. The dreamlike, sci~fi fantasy is fun to explore, but there’s too much great music locked in the grooves that shouldn’t be dismissed in favor of overanalyzing the subject matter. When the album closes with “How Can a Head”, the cinematic flourishes signal not only a great story’s final chapter but also the end of another mysterious, otherworldly entry in the Flaming Lips discography. The “King” may be dead, but the band lives on. • 
•   Hear It Is (1986)
•   Oh My Gawd!!!...The Flaming Lips (1987)
•   Telepathic Surgery (1989)
•   In a Priest Driven Ambulance (with Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990)
•   Hit to Death in the Future Head (1992)
•   Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)
•   Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)
•   Zaireeka (1997)
•   The Soft Bulletin (1999)
•   Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
•   At War with the Mystics (2006)
•   Once Beyond Hopelessness (2008)
•   Embryonic (2009)
•   The Dark Side of the Moon (2010)
•   The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)
•   The Terror (2013)
•   King’s Mouth: Music and Songs (13 April 2019)
Following the release of King’s Mouth, the fifteenth studio album from The Flaming Lips, the band have unveiled a video for the track “How Many Times”.
•¬     In typical Lips~ian fashion, the video is lysergically colorful and completely joyous in its simplicity. It was shot in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City and directed by Wayne Coyne.
•¬     King’s Mouth sees the iconoclastic outfit once again tread uncharted territory. These 12 new originals are threaded together by cinematic narration courtesy of The Clash’s Mick Jones. Additionally, the music parallels front man Wayne Coyne’s immersive art installation of the same name.
•¬     Introduced in 2015, the installation has showcased its psychedelic visuals and soundscapes through North America in museums such as Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, the Pacific Northwest College of Art Portland, OR and Wayne’s own creative space, The Womb, in Oklahoma City, OK. A true handcrafted marvel, it consists of a giant metallic head that welcomes spectators inside. Once inside of the foam month, an LED lightshow begins in tandem with music from the album. Now, the record doubles as the sonic companion to the exhibit and allows fans to experience the aural side at any time.
•¬    Further expanding this multi~faceted world and detailing a fascinating creation myth, the accompanying literary tome, King’s Mouth: Immerse Heap Trip Fantasy Experience tells the story of the King’s Mouth through words and visuals by Coyne, adds yet another dimension to the project, which ranks among the band’s most ambitious thus far.
•¬    About the vision, Coyne wrote: “The King’s Mouth immersive/child~like qualities are born from the same spark and womb as The Flaming Lips live performances. The King’s Mouth adventure was made for humans of all sizes, ages, cultures, and religions.”
Review: Randy Radic, June 8, 2019