The long-reigning kings of big-sky psychedelia emerge from their Oklahoma City bunker to ask this musical question: If the Powerpuff Girls took on Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," who would win? The answer, in this case, is the listener. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots isn't the end-to-end triumph that was 1999's The Soft Bulletin, still the most beauteous of Lips albums. But the production is equally ambitious, with burbling electrobeats underpinning sci-fi orchestrations that sound like the brainchild of Esquivel and the Orb. Techno isn't the band's forte, as "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2" demonstrates. But elsewhere the trio's love of sound sorcery is gently folded into gorgeous melodies such as "In the Morning of the Magicians," "Are You a Hypnotist??" and "Do You Realize?" "All we have is now," Wayne Coyne sings, and the Lips sound absolutely ecstatic to be living in the moment.
From The Archives Issue 901: July 25, 2002